Ludhiana, September 11
Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Minister Kuldeep Dhaliwal has said the state government will take every possible step to stop stubble-burning in the upcoming paddy harvesting season.
Dhaliwal, who was addressing a press conference here, said the Agriculture Department had pulled up socks to manage crop residue and it would distribute 56,000 machines under the in-situ management of stubble this season. With this, the total number of machines will rise to 1,46,422 as 90,422 machines have already been given to farmers since 2018.
- Sept 15 onwards, Class IV employees to Director-rank officers to conduct door-to-door visits to sensitise against the menace
- A massive awareness drive to be launched in the rural belt in the coming days
Pointing out new developments in the machine distribution this year, Dhaliwal said now small farmers would also get machines like super seeders, happy seeders, etc. As many as 500 such machines would be sent to 154 blocks of the state, he said.
Dhaliwal said September 15 onwards, employees right from Class IV to the Director-rank officers would stay in fields and hold door-to-door visits to sensitise growers against stubble-burning.
The minister said a massive awareness drive would be launched in the rural belt of Punjab in the coming days. Officials of the Rural Development and Panchayat, Environment departments, NGOs, school and college students and others will exhort the farmers to adopt the in-situ crop residue management system to manage the stubble.
Terming the Union Government decision not to provide cash incentive for not burning stubble as anti-farmer and anti-Punjab, Dhaliwal said the state government had proposed to give Rs 2,500 per acre to paddy growers. It had suggested that the Centre pay Rs 1,500 per acre while Rs 1,000 per acre was to be paid by Punjab and Delhi Governments.
He further said several farmers failed to get the benefit of the subsidy on agricultural implements and a scam of Rs 150 crore had been surfaced. A report has been handed over to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and nobody would be spared, Dhaliwal added.
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