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‘Depleting groundwater level matter of concern’

‘Depleting groundwater level matter of concern’

Dr Devinder Sharma addresses mediapersons in Jalandhar.

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, January 25

Agriculture expert Dr Devinder Sharma on Thursday expressed concern over the dwindling groundwater level and increasing infertility of soil in Punjab due to indiscriminate use of inorganic fertilisers.

He was in Jalandhar to deliver a memorial lecture on ‘Punjab’s agriculture — Crisis it faces and the way ahead’ at Punjab Press Club here.

Dr Sharma said that the wrong policies of the state and Centre were responsible for the issue. He said that on the one hand, the government was dissuading farmers from opting for wheat-paddy cycle to check the falling groundwater level, and on the other, it was encouraging the farmers to buy more machines for paddy stubble management.

He also expressed concern over the declining income of farmers saying that half of the farming community was reeling under a monthly scheme of less than Rs 1,700. He said that some farmers had income even less than the MGNREGA workers. While the income of farmers was Rs 76 per quintal in 1970, an average government employee had Rs 90 as per month salary. He said that by 2015, the income of the employees had increased 300 times but the income of farmers had not increased as much. He said that there was a price for every commodity available in the market but not crops as the governments had only been making hollow promises.

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