Patiala, October 9: Amid the state government’s claims of having addressed the issue of stubble burning and threatening to take strict action against the offenders, farmer have decided to openly challenge the Punjab government. They have declared that they will burn paddy stubble in their fields and have said that officials ‘may face dire consequences’ if they visit the agricultural fields.
Despite the state government and the Punjab Agricultural University’s drive against stubble burning, farmer unions are making announcements at different villages, trying to convince farmers to continue stubble burning in their fields ‘as the government has failed to address the issue’.
Different farmer union members are addressing the villagers and asking them “to prepare for a battle against the state government that is issuing anti-farmer orders amid agricultural crisis in Punjab.”
“We visited seven villages in Bhawanigarh block today and held meetings with farmers. The farmers are facing a tough time as government has threatened them of legal action if they burn stubble,” said Manjit Singh, senior vice-president of the Bhawanigarh block of Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU, Ugrahan).
“When we have no alternative available. We will definitely burn the paddy residuals and have asked the farmers to not panic over government’s threats,” he added.
State BKU (Ugrahan) president Joginder Singh said, “We cannot see any efforts being made by the state government to tackle the problem. And despite that, farmers are being forced not to burn the crop residual.”
“The claims of providing Happy Seeder, setting up biogas plants, etc are only on paper. We don’t want to pollute the environment as it affects us as well,” Joginder said.
“However, farmers are helpless. They don’t have much option here. We will hold a big rally in Barnala on October 13, where the next strategy will be announced,” he added.
Meanwhile, additional chief secretary (development) Vishawjeet Khanna held a meeting with the officials concerned here on Monday. Khanna warned that if any farmer is found burning stubble, the entries regarding Khasra numbers of his land will be marked red. And if such violation are done by a nambardar, he will be issued a notice.
Deputy commissioner (DC) Ghanshyam Thori said that 597 nodal officers, along with 44 cluster officers, have been deployed in district to handle the situation. Thori has also directed the district development and panchayat officer (DDPO), Sangrur, to motivate farmers to send their stubble to the government gaushala at Jhaneri.