Chandigarh, November 4: In order to hide its failures, the centre government is accusing Punjab of spreading pollution by burning stubble. Today, during a press conference here at Punjab Bhawan, Punjab Cabinet Ministers Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal and Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer lashing out at the centre government on the issue said that the centre government is highlighting the issue of stubble burning to divert people’s attention from the unfortunate incident that took place in Gujarat.
Both the ministers said that the Haryana Chief Minister is spreading misleading propaganda against Punjab on this issue of stubble burning.
They said that as per Central Pollution Controll Board Punjab’s Air Quality Index is better than Haryana.The Ministers further said that according to the data till date, many cities of Haryana are in the first 10 cities in the list of the most polluted cities in India, including Hisar, Faridabad, Sirsa, Rohtak, Sonepat and Bhiwani etc., while from Punjab no city is in the first 10 of this list. This clearly shows that stubble is being set on fire more in Haryana than in Punjab. They also accused the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi of playing politics at the behest of the Centre government on the issue of stubble burning who is writing letters to the Chief Minister of Punjab on this matter without any authority.
Kuldeep Dhaliwal and Meet Hayer said that stubble burning and crop residue management is a joint issue of many states of North India, but the centre government is playing politics instead of supporting Punjab in this matter. They said that Punjab and Delhi government prepared a proposal, which was sent to the centre government to give assistance of Rs 2500 per acre to the farmers for crop residue management and stubble management, as per the proposal the Punjab government had to contribute Rs 500, the Delhi government also Rs 500 and the central government to contribute Rs 1500, but the central government rejected this proposal.
The ministers said that Punjab is a state which made the country self-reliant and for this cause polluted its air, water and land, but now when it was time to pay back, the centre government has backtracked from helping the farmers of the state, instead the centre government is blaming Punjab of spreading pollution.
Agriculture Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal said that due to the concrete and sincere efforts of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s government, cases of stubble burning have fallen down enormously. He said that sanctions for 42,342 subsidized machines for stubble management have been given to farmers. Apart from this, the agriculture department at the block level has given machines to small farmers for stubble management for free use. Due to these efforts of the present government, this year 2 Million tonnes of straw has been baled compared to 1.2 million last year.
While sharing the information on the issue, Environment Minister of the state Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer said that despite the centre government not providing any help for stubble management, the target given by the center to Punjab for stubble management is being fulfilled 100 percent at its own level. He also assured that in the coming one or two years the problem of stubble will be completely overcome.
Meet Hayer said that even in the satellite system; there are some flaws in showing the cases of stubble while the actual reality is something else. In Punjab, there has been a decrease in cases of stubble burning this year, but the satellite system is showing the same where actually the only waste was burnt after stubble bailing which did not cause any significant pollution.
Apart from this, he said that even though there is only a 10-day gap between paddy harvesting and wheat sowing in Punjab, therefore the use of D-composer solution for stubble management in the field is not effective in all places. But despite this, wherever possible, D-decomposer solution is being sprayed in about 5000 acres in the state.