Stubble burning: NSS volunteers to sensitise farmers in 13,000 villages
Cabinet minister Tript Bajwa urges farmers to avail subsidy for machinery to manage straw; officials, V-Cs of different varsities will also campaign for causeUpdated: Oct 04, 2019 22:32 IST
Over one lakh National Service Scheme (NSS) volunteers will visit at least 12,984 villages across the state to sensitise farmers about the ill effects of paddy stubble burning post harvesting in ongoing kharif season.
At the government physical education college on Friday, Punjab cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Bajwa flagged off groups of NSS volunteers from 11 educational institutions of the district. Addressing the gathering, Bajwa exhorted farmers to pledge they would not burn paddy this year in the wake of Guru Nanak’s 550th birth anniversary.
“Farmers must contribute towards improving environmental health by not burning paddy leftover,” Bajwa said. He urged them to use straw management technology in their respective fields.
“The government does not want to implement stringent laws or deploy police to stop the practice, so we are focusing on spreading awareness, ” Bajwa said. He added that the government is providing the required logistics and machinery to farmers for the purpose. Last year, the government provided a subsidy of ₹270 crore on such machinery, and is spending ₹260 crore this year, he said.
Punjab farmers have earned recognition, he said, in the national and international arena but they must stop burning stubble. The minister said the government and Punjab pollution control board have roped in over lakhs of NSS volunteers for awareness campaigns and they are hopeful that such activities will reap fruitful results.
Punjab pollution control board chairman SS Marwaha, said farmers need to understand the repercussions of straw burning as it not only causes air pollution but also deteriorates the soil health. “We are serious about this mission. Even senior officials and vice-chancellors of several universities will visit villages for such campaigns,” he said.
Vice-chancellor Punjabi university, professor BS Ghuman, and Lieutenant general JS Cheema (retd), V-C of Maharaja Bhupinder Singh Punjab Sports University were also present on the occasion.
Bajwa announces grant for new girls’ hostel at Punjabi University, Patiala
On the occasion of 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev, cabinet minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said the Punjab government has announced a grant of ₹21 crore for the construction of a new girls’ hostel to accommodate more than 400 students of the university.
Varsity vice-chancellor, professor BS Ghuman disclosed that the hostel would be constructed opposite to the University College of Engineering, near Mai Bhago hostel. “The hostel will be named after Guru Nanak’s mother, Mata Tripta. The 8-storey hostel will be equipped with facilities such as the internet, smart reading and sports rooms,” he said.