Chandigarh, November 9: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has again written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking compensation for farmers for crop resident management to check the dangerous trend of stubble burning, which has triggered a major smog crisis in the northern belt of the country.
He has also requested the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of Chief Ministers of the affected States along with the Union Ministers for Agriculture, Food and Environment on the issue.
Reiterating his request, as raised earlier on July 5, 2017, the Chief Minister has sought Modi’s intervention for arresting the problem of paddy straw burning by providing a bonus of Rs. 100 per quintal as incentive to compensate the farmers to manage the crop residue scientifically.
Captain Amarinder pointed out that most of north India, including the national capital New Delhi, is currently in the throes of a pollution crisis, induced largely by burning of paddy straw in the paddy-growing areas of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The higher courts of the country and the National Green Tribunal have also taken cognizance of the matter, he further observed.
However, what is probably not being understood in proper perspective is that a problem which is essentially scientific and economic cannot be tackled through other means, including coercion, said the Chief Minister.
Scientific management and disposal of paddy straw entails significant cost for the farmer and he naturally prefers the cheaper and easy solution of burning the crop residue, said Captain Amarinder, adding that there are at present no technical or biological systems for managing this farm operation that are economically attractive to the farmer.
He called upon the prime minister to get the matter examined on priority and announce a compensation of cost management of crop residue @ Rs. 100/- per quintal on wheat (above MSP), and later for paddy to incentivize farmers not to burn their crop residue. This could be released by way of Direct Benefit Transfer to farmers after due verification, he said, expressing the hope that the prime minister would accede to this reasonable and practicable suggestion, given the large economic and environmental benefits that will accrue to the nation from this positive policy intervention.