NGT reprimands Punjab farmer unions for promoting stubble burning
The NGT observed that farmers must understand that without their assistance, there is no solution to this problem, which is severely affecting the air quality.punjab Updated: Oct 13, 2017 22:11 IST
The National Green Tribunal on Friday pulled up farmer unions of Punjab for taking a stance against the ban on stubble burning.
Accompanied with representatives of the state government, 19 farmers from Kalar Majri village of Patiala district, who calimed to have received incentives and infrastructural facilities by the state government to prevent them from burning crop, appeared before the NGT.
Notably, farmer unions were approaching Kalar Majri village to persuade peasants not to appear before the NGT and join their campaign of burning paddy stubble in protest.
“Instead of taking a conflicting stance and promoting stubble burning, farmer unions should act responsibly and must come forward to help the state government in finding alternatives to stubble burning,” said the NGT bench.
The bench observed that farmers must understand that without their assistance, there is no solution to this problem, which is severely affecting the air quality.
“It is not just for the government to deal with the problem. Even the cultivators should come up to protect both environment and their land fertility from further deterioration,” the bench said.
NEXT HEARING ON OCT 17
Meanwhile, the NGT has fixed October 17 as the next date of hearing in which it has asked the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to present a detailed proposal report for setting up projects to generate power by using crop stubble.
Meanwhile, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU-Ugrahan) state general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokrikalan, said, “In order to dispose of stubble over one acre, a farmer has to spend at least Rs 5,000. How could farmers afford such an expenditure when they are already are under financial distress. We are demanding Rs 200 per quintal from the state government to manage stubble,” he said.
Kokrikalan said that even the state government failed to comply with the NGT order directing it to provide financial help to farmers to dispose of the stubble. “When the government is not cooperating with us, we are compelled to burn stubble.”