Chandigarh: Amid rising air pollution in Delhi, farmers in Punjab’s Bathinda are resorting to burning stubble, saying that they do not have a choice as they are not being provided with a 50 per cent subsidy as directed by the state government in September.Also Read - Use Carpool, Turn Off Engine At Red Light: How Delhi Plans 3-Point Strategy to Bring Air Pollution Under Control

“We were not left with any choice rather than burning stubble because the state government has not provided us 50 per cent subsidy announced in September. We have spent around Rs 5,000-6,000 for burning this stubble on our own and the Punjab government has not given any compensation,” said Ram Singh, a farmer. Also Read - Facing Air Pollution Related Issues? GNIDA Issues THESE Helpline Number to Report Complaints Through Calls, WhatsApp

Singh said that the time for sowing winter crops has come, so they must burn this stubble. Also Read - Bio-Decomposer, Smog Towers: How Delhi Plans to Bring Air Pollution Under Control During Winter

On the increasing air pollution, the farmer said, “Many places are very polluted. Vehicles, factories and other things also increase air pollution. No one is saying about those things, then why are we being blamed for spreading air pollution?”

“We also have family who can also get affected by air pollution. But we do not have any other option. And burning this much stubble burning is the only cause of increasing pollution,” he added.

Another farmer, Ravinder Singh said that if the government will take any legal action against them, then they will remind them about its compensation announced earlier.

Earlier in September, the Punjab government had taken innovative steps to tackle stubble burning which causes air pollution.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has repeatedly blamed stubble burning in the states of Punjab and Haryana for the air pollution in the national capital.

In September this year, the Centre has released Rs 496 crore to subsidize machinery required in-situ management of crop residue with an aim to address air pollution in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR) due to stubble burning in the adjoining states of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Sanjay Agarwal, Secretary of Union Ministry of Agriculture had informed that the Centre released Rs 496 crore for Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Punjab to subsidise machinery required in-situ management of crop residue during 2021-22.

(With inputs from ANI)