Tribune News Service
Bathinda, November 14
It seems the farming community is not too impressed with the state government’s announcement of Rs 2,500 per acre incentive for small and marginal farmers who have not burnt paddy straw.
Talking to The Tribune, Gurtej Singh, a farmer from Bir Behman village, said, “If the government really wanted to curb farm fires, it should have announced the scheme prior to the harvesting season. I even doubt the mechanism they are going to adopt for identifying the farmers who have not burnt the stubble.”
He felt that the government may have announced the scheme only to save its skin as the SC had taken a serious note of the pollution being caused due to farm fires.
Another farmer said, “Last year I had managed to dispose the paddy stubble in an environment-friendly manner, as a group of farmers had pooled in money to hire a machine for the purpose. However, I have already burnt paddy straw this time. Had this scheme been announced earlier I would not have done that.”
Baldev Singh, a farmer from Naruana village, opined that the timely announcement of the scheme would have curtailed farm fires drastically in the state. “A large number of farmers have already set their farms ablaze. What is the government trying to achieve now?” he asked. He also expressed doubt about the verification process to be adopted for the scheme. He apprehended that the people close to the ruling party would call the shots in the disbursal of incentive to the farmers under the scheme.
BKU (Ugrahan) general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan said the decision came too late. “It won’t translate into benefit as the harvesting of paddy is almost coming to an end now. Had the government intended to curb farm fires it should have announced the decision prior to harvesting. But it is amply clear now that the government has resorted to the move under pressure from the SC.”
Muktsar fields still burning
- Despite Rs 2,500 incentive, a lot of farmers are still defying the ban orders and burning paddy stubble in Muktsar.
- On an average 8-10 cases are still being filed daily for defying the orders issued by the District Magistrate. In actual, the number is much more.
- Farmers said the relief came very late and burning stubble was the easiest and fastest method available.
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