With the problem of stubble-burning becoming acute with each passing year, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Monday claimed to make Punjab free of burning stubble in three years.
Air pollution and smog caused by stubble-burning following the harvest of paddy have worsened over the years as both the state government and Punjab Pollution Control Board have failed to curb the problem.
Speaking on the sidelines of his visit to this district, Sukhbir invited farmers to generate power from non-conventional energy sources. “Biomass powerhouses will be set up to make Punjab a stubble-burning-free state. The commissioning of such powerhouses in the coming two to three years will help farmers dispose of crop leftovers in a better way,” Sukhbir said.
He said the state government is providing subsidy on balers to make bundles of paddy straw.Over the past few years, the government has conducted awareness campaigns, besides issuing strict instructions, but the ineffective execution of plans has encouraged farmers to brazenly burn the leftover straw.
Addressing the gathering at Sakkanwali village, Sukhbir said the state government had chalked out its agenda to develop the state socially and economically. “Funds will be released constituency-wise to carry out development works like roads, clean drinking water, lights, and sewerage in rural and urban areas in the coming months,” Sukhbir said.
Announcing a grant of Rs 2.5 crore for development works at Sakkanwali village, Sukhbir lauded the village panchayat for launching the unique project of converting the village pond into a scenic lake. He said legislators would be asked to take a tour of the village to replicate the model in other villages.