Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 6
Appealing to farmers to conserve water and move away from paddy cultivation and diversify to other crops, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar launched ‘Mera Pani, Meri Virasat’ scheme here today.
Making this announcement during his address here today, Khattar said that under this scheme, farmers who switch to alternative crops like maize or pulses or diversify into horticulture or growing vegetables in place of paddy during the season would be given an incentive of Rs 7,000 per acre.
Referring to dark zones where depletion of the water table had doubled in the past 12 years, Khattar said that the scheme was specifically being launched for the eight paddy-intensive blocks. These are Ratia, Siwan, Guhla, Pipli, Shahabad, Babain, Ismailabad and Sirsa.
The non-paddy dominated blocks — that include Badhra of Charkhi Dadri district, Bahl and Loharu of Bhiwani district, Khol of Rewari district and Mahendergarh block of district Mahendergarh — where the depth of ground water is more than 40m will be included in this scheme.
Farmers have been urged to sow 50 per cent of paddy in other areas where water is available to improve the groundwater level.
Khattar urged the farmers to make up their minds to sow crops which require less water than paddy such as maize, arhar, urad, guar, cotton, bajra, til and grisham moong (Baisakhi moong) to ensure availability of water for future generations.
Assuring farmers that pulses and maize would be purchased at the minimum support price, Khattar said that equipment required for maize sowing and dryers would also be arranged by the state government besides offering 80 per cent subsidy on micro-irrigation and drip irrigation systems.
A web portal would be developed with the necessary information about the scheme and farmers wanting to shift
from paddy to other less water-consuming crops could also avail of this scheme.
The CM said wherever panchayat land is given on lease and where the depth of ground water has gone below 35m, the sowing of the paddy would be prohibited.
Clarifying that no fare is being charged from migrant labourers who wish to return to their home states, the CM urged them to stay put.
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