Capt writes to Modi, wants Rs 100/quintal for farmers to manage paddy straw
Chandigarh, September 27
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, reiterating his request for Rs 100 per quintal as compensation to farmers for management of paddy straw.
The compensation should be given only to those farmers who refrained from burning paddy residue, he wrote in his letter to the PM.
The task of achieving zero stubble burning in the state was not only Herculean but also put additional financial burden on the farmers, the CM pointed out, adding that despite strict control measures, nearly 15 million MTs of paddy straw was being burnt in the state annually.
Listing some of the initiatives taken by his government to curb the menace, the CM said farmers were being provided subsidized equipment for management of crop residue. In addition, individual farmers and Custom Hiring Centres are also making huge investments in providing equipment for crop residue management.
However, use of new machines was putting an additional burden of Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 per acre on the farmers, which they were unable to afford, the CM said.
Further, in case these machines were to be optimally utilised to achieve the objective of zero stubble burning, additional cost on management and use of these machines is incurred which needed to be compensated, Amarinder underlined in his letter.
The CM said that despite repeated requests from the state, the Centre had not yet taken any decision on compensation to farmers.
“The harmful effects of stubble-burning are well known and need not be reiterated. The state government is serious about handling this problem and has started a campaign to educate and motivate the farmers to incorporate stubble in the soil itself rather than burning it in the fields,” the CM wrote.