Farmers oppose Centre’s ordinance on air pollution

Under new law, a person can be sent to jail for five years and penalised Rs1 crore for burning crop residue

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, October 30

Farmers and Kisan union leaders opposed the Centre’s new ordinance to control air pollution, under which a violator can be sent to jail for five years and penalised Rs 1 crore for burning crop residue.

Opposing the ordinance introduced by the Centre, Sarwan Singh Pandher of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Committee said the agriculture sector accounts for only six per cent of the total pollution while industry pollution is up to 51 per cent and vehicles’ share is 25 per cent. If the government is concerned about pollution, then they should enact to curb industrial pollution. With a sense of revenge, the Centre has brought this ordinance.”

Satnam Singh Pannu, a farm leader, said, “We have submitted a memorandum to the government to implement recommendations of the National Green Tribunal instead of this anti-farmer law, which calls for a fine of Rs one crore. The NGT recommends that the government should provide straw management mechanism and agricultural machinery to farmers for free. The government should pay Rs 2,500 per acre to farmers to manage crop residue in the fields. Instead of providing solution, the government has decided to suppress farmers with such laws, which is not acceptable.”

Meanwhile, the dharna entered the 37th day. The protesting farmer unionists met a delegation of the state government led by Tript Singh Bajwa and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. The union leaders opposed the state government’s Bills passed by the Cabinet to negate the Centre’s Acts.

Gurbachan Singh Chabba, secretary, Kisan Union, said, “The Centre is not operating goods trains. Farmers have vacated railway tracks, but the government wants to take revenge from the farmers of Punjab and suspended services of trains without any reason.”

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