Centre releases ₹491 crore to Punjab, Haryana & UP to tackle stubble burning
Funds to the tune of ₹491 crore have been released to three states of Punjab Haryana and Uttar Pradesh ahead of harvesting of kharif crops for tackling the stubble burning issue, agriculture secretary Sanjay Agarwal said on Monday. A meeting with representatives of Punjab and Haryana governments will be held soon in this regard, he said.
Harvesting of paddy, the main kharif crop, will begin from October onwards. The stubble burning in northern India has long been a major cause of air pollution even as the central government has spent ₹2,245.17 crore to address this issue in the last four years.
Speaking to reporters, Agarwal said the states have also been asked to allow gram sabhas to open custom hiring centres so that small farmers can have access to machines and equipment used in the management of crop residue.
In the 2021-22 financial year, the central government released ₹491 crore funds to Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for tackling the stubble burning issue. Of that, ₹235 crore has been released to Punjab, ₹141 crore to Haryana and ₹115 crore to Uttar Pradesh, he said.
In the last four years, a total of ₹1,050.68 crore has been released to Punjab, ₹640.9 crore to Haryana, ₹489.08 crore to Uttar Pradesh and ₹4.52 crore to Delhi for this purpose.
The fund has been released as part of a central scheme on promotion of agri-mechanisation for the management of crop residue in these states. Consequently, about 21,125 custom hiring centres were opened in Punjab and 4,224 centres in Haryana, the secretary said.
Besides, a mobile app was launched for the benefit of farmers to ascertain which custom hiring centre was having what kinds of machines and equipment, he said, and added many farmers are taking advantage of these centres.
Besides giving subsidies for buying machines and setting up of custom hiring centres, the government is creating awareness among farmers on this issue.