AgriNation News Network
New Delhi. 14 Oct 2018
Every year in October – November, Delhi ignores its own vehicular pollution and continues blaming stubble burning by farmers for pollution in Delhi despite the fact that stubble burning is an annual post-harvest ritual for farmers to prepare fields for Rabi crops while vehicular pollution is every hour ritual in Delhi.
Reacting to the blame by Delhi that stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana is causing air pollution, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti Amritsar District Secretary Jarmanjeet Singh said that there was no other option for farmers than to stubble burning. He also said that it is the industries and vehicles that contribute majorly contribute to pollution, not the farmers.
Accusing Delhi government for not acting on polluting industries, Abhay Ahluwalia, a senior public relations consultant, in facebook post wrote, “Stubble burning by farmers is an issue but what Delhi government has done on polluting industry in last 2-3 years. Just because farmers don’t have lobbying association, government conveniently put entire blame on them and leave industrial unit. First take action on polluting industry”
On fining farmers for stubble farming, Bhartiya Kisan Union (Rajewal) president Balbir Singh Rajewal said, “Farmers who are in debt trap are committing suicide and now the government is taking penal action (imposing fine) against growers who burn paddy residue. Farmers have become soft targets for the authorities despite the fact that just 8 per cent of air pollution caused by farm residue burning.”
“Farmers do not want to burn paddy residue. But they are compelled to burn stubble as they do not have any other feasible and cheap option,” he added.
According to farm experts, the best way to manage the crop residue is to award bonus as compensation to farmers for management of paddy straw.
Devinder Sharma, a food and agriculture expert said, “Giving Rs. 200 per quintal to growers is the only option available to the government for the management of crop residue. What is the harm in giving money to growers when a substantial sum of money is spent on crop procurement.”
The use of farm equipments for crop residue management has also not been cited as a feasible solution as it will put additional financial burden on small and marginal growers whose condition is already pitiable.
Farmers’ union also accused the government of not complying with the National Green Tribunal order which had directed it to supply machinery free of cost to farmers owning less than two acres of land.