Chandigarh: Farmers in Bhatinda are holding protests and continuing to burn stubble. They told ANI, “We are nature lovers. But we have no other option. The government has not found any solution for us. They haven’t provided us any relief. So we are still burning stubble.” This is in direct contravention of the laws set by the National Green Tribunal against stubble-burning. Also Read - Check Latest COVID-19 Travel Guidelines For Assam, Bihar, Rajasthan, Punjab And West Bengal
Earlier in the day, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had said that while he understood the compulsions of farmers, they must abide by the law. The burning of stubble in Haryana and Punjab is one of the major reasons behind the rising pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region. Air quality here deteriorates to alarming levels with PM 2.5 and PM 10 breaching the WHO’s ‘safe’ standard several times over. While the NGT has strictly prohibited such crop stubble burning, instances of farmers lighting up are on the rise this year as well. “My sympathies are with the farmers, but law is the law and the law must take its course,” said the Chief Minister. Also Read - Chandigarh Night Curfew Timing Revised. Check New Guidelines Here
The Punjab CM has previously written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which he sought Rs 100 per quintal as compensation for farmers who do not burn stubble. In addition, both Punjab and Haryana governments have claimed that they have introduced several incentives for farmers who wish to buy machinery for proper stubble disposal. Those promises, however, haven’t really materialised, say ground reports. Also Read - COVID-19 Travel Updates, June 15: Now You Can Travel to These Indian States And Union Territories
According to a Zeenews report, some farmers found it still more economical to pay penalties for burning stubble than to find alternative means. They argued that vehicular pollution and industrial units in Delhi played a much larger role in air pollution.
Farmers have been protesting, asking the government to come out with a viable solution for stubble burning. Under the banner of Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU), farmers including women gathered at Barnala’s grain market, last weekend, protesting against the state and central government for allegedly harassing paddy growers in Punjab. They demanded the government give farmers Rs 200 per quintal as bonus for the management of crop residue if it failed to propose a viable solution for stubble burning problem.