Farmers seek relief for basmati growers for not burning stubble

Farmers seek relief for basmati growers for not burning stubble

Balwant Garg

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, November 18

As basmati growers have been denied Rs2,500 per acre compensation for desisting from stubble burning, a delegation of the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) Sidhupur on Monday met Kahan Singh Pannu, Secretary, Agriculture Department. They apprised the Secretary of their various demands.

At a meeting, the delegation members said if the state government was serious in finding a long-lasting solution to stubble burning, it should not ignore all stakeholders.

The farmers’ leaders urged the secretary to give compensation to all farmers, including basmati growers and big landlords. “There should not be any discrimination in terms of landholding while giving compensation to those who had not burnt the stubble,” said Jagjeet Singh Dallewal, state president of the BKU Sidhupur, who led the delegation.

The union leaders also demanded cancelation of FIRs registered against the farmers for burning stubble across the state. Besides, they also sought withdrawal of all ‘Red Circle’ entries in the revenue record of the farmers. The Secretary was also requested not to impose any fine on these farmers.

The delegation members said the Secretary assured them of taking up their demand for compensation to all farmers and basmati growers with the state government.

“As farmers in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are also demanding to widen the scope of the compensation to the basmati growers and big farmers, we are hopeful of consensus among three states on accepting the demand,” said a farmer leader, who participated in the meeting on Monday.

Faridkot Deputy Commissioner Kumar Saurabh Raj arranged the meeting between the farmer leaders and the Secretary. In favour of their demands, farmers have been sitting on a dharna in Jaito for over a week.

“The government action against the farmers is unjustified as it has failed to find out a practical solution since the National Green tribunal (NGT) banned stubble burning in 2013. By not paying compensation to the basmati growers, the state government is promoting them to burn the stubble,” said Dallewal.

Union leaders said nearly 50,000 farmers had been affected due to FIRs, fines and ‘Red Entries’ in the revenue record.

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