PAU V-C urges farmers to desist from stubble burning

He said that the rise in stubble burning cases is undoing the efforts made in the past 11 years to reduce the number of farm fires.
Bharati Kisan Union (Lakhowal) has said that they would be forced to burn stubble if the government failed to compensate them.(HT file)
Bharati Kisan Union (Lakhowal) has said that they would be forced to burn stubble if the government failed to compensate them.(HT file)
Updated on Oct 01, 2020 12:12 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | ByMohit Khanna, Ludhiana

While the farmer unions are covertly supporting the stubble fire to press the government to withdraw the controversial farm bills and for compensation for stubble management, Punjab Agricultural University’s (PAU) vice-chancellor Baldev Dhillon on Wednesday urged farmers to desist from burning stubble in fields to curb pollution.

The Bharati Kisan Union, Lakhowal, has said that they will be forced to burn stubble if the government failed to compensate them.

“It is not wise to burn stubble as it will pollute other cities as well. Yes, the struggle for the rights is justified, but burning stubble in no solution to the problem,” said Dhillon.

He said that the rise in stubble burning cases is failing the efforts made in the past 11 years to reduce the number of farm fires.

“This year we are comfortably placed. We have enough number of super seeders, happy seeders, cutters and rotavator. Even this year has witnessed a record sale of high-power tractors which supports these machines. We started receiving positive results of in-situ crop management. I was expecting a lesser number of farm fire but unfortunately, there has been a spurt in the incidents,” the vice-chancellor said.

He stressed that farm fires will lead to several problems. “Firstly, it is injurious to health and the smoke from the fields causes blindness on roads which leads to accidents and it is not healthily for our soil health,” the agricultural varsity’s V-C said.

BKU demands 2,500 per acre compensation to stop burning residue

On the other hand, Bharati Kisan Union (BKU) (Lakhowal) general secretary Harinder Singh Lakhowal said that farmers would be forced to burn stubble if the government failed to either give a bonus of 100 per quintal on paddy crop or compensation of 2,500 per acre.

Lakhowal said the apex court had issued directions to the government last year that since farmers were not in a position to bear the additional cost of straw management, the government ought to lend financial assistance to them if it wanted that stubble burning should stop.

“We have urged the government to incorporate the management cost in the Minimum Support Price (MSP),” said Harvinder Singh.

He added that there is a lot of anger among farmers against the central government for imposing three farmer laws. “The only way to stop stubble burning is to provide assured financial assistance in the form of bonus on crop or lump sum grants on the basis of land holding,” he said.

“The farmers in the state said that if the Centre does not think about their welfare then why should they care about the politicians sitting in Delhi,” said Lakhowal.

Rail Roko agitation from today

Lakhowal maintained that the rail roko agitation will start from October 1. He said their protest would continue till the state government adopts a resolution against the farm acts and the Centre scraps these laws.

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