Punjab seeks Rs 7,100 crore to fight stubble burning

The state officials made it clear that it had no means to manage straw beyond 1.15 lakh hectares and the paddy is cultivated over 30 lakh hectares, where 20 lakh tonne of stubble is produced.

punjab Updated: Dec 09, 2017 10:13 IST
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Gurpreet Singh Nibber
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Stubble burning,Punjab,air pollution
Last year, Punjab had demanded Rs 1,103 crore to check stubble burning, but it got only Rs 40 crore(HT File)

In an action plan submitted to the Centre, the Punjab government on Friday demanded Rs 7,100 crore to check stubble burning.

The three-year action plan was submitted to a sub-committee, chaired by Union transport secretary, with three states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi as members.

Last year, the state had demanded Rs 1,103 crore to check stubble burning, but it got only Rs 40 crore. The Centre has been questioning the overestimation by Punjab, but the state government reiterated that no less than the given estimates could help check stubble burning.

“These figures are given by the experts of Punjab Agricultural University and can be cross-checked by any agency. The cost of machinery cost is not hidden from anybody,” said additional chief secretary Vishavjeet Khanna, who led the team of Punjab officers before the sub-committee.

Khanna said the sub-committee was expected to give its recommendations next week.

The state officials made it clear that it had no means to manage straw beyond 1.15 lakh hectares and the paddy is cultivated over 30 lakh hectares, where 20 lakh tonne of stubble is produced.

“Punjab needs a sum of Rs 1,130 crore to purchase machinery for stubble management in the entire state,” said the action plan. With these funds, the state plans to buy machines – paddy straw shredder, mulching machine and rotavators and happy seeders to be given to farmers for straw management.

Khanna demanded that state farmers be given Rs 100 per quintal of bonus on paddy for three years so that they could be compensated for putting additional effort to manage paddy straw. The bonus amount comes to Rs 1.740 crore for one season and Rs 5,220 crore for three years.

FACES NGT WRATH

Meanwhile, the state government on Friday faced the wrath of National Green Tribunal (NGT) for not taking effective steps to provide financial assistance and infrastructure facility to the farmers to encourage them not to burn agricultural residue in their fields.The NGT has asked Punjab what step it is taking to stop burning of stubble and have fixed a hearing on Monday (December 11).

BLURB Last year, state had demanded Rs 1,103 cr , but it got only Rs 40 cr from the Centre

First Published: Dec 09, 2017 00:00 IST