The Punjab Governor and Administrator Chandigarh V.P Singh Badnore exhorted all the officers of Punjab government and other stakeholders to find a concrete solution to the stubble burning issue and leave no stone unturned to resolve this issue at the earliest. He expressed concern over the stubble burning and termed it as a major cause of environment pollution decreasing organic component of soil.Addressing a high level meeting of the senior officers of Punjab government and the experts of PAU to discuss the remedial measures to curb burning of paddy straw and preventing pollution, the Governor said that the farmers required to be provided with viable alternate options to paddy straw burning. He has asked the experts from PAU to intensify their efforts in this direction. He said that an advisory to the farmers must be issued at the launch of Kisan Mela in Ludhiana in March this year. A massive campaign should also be launched throughout the State to generate awareness amongst the farming community about the ill effects of stubble burning posing a major health hazard all over, said Mr. Badnore.
It was highlighted in the meeting that farmers who are under pressure to clear their land for wheat sowing in a short span of 20 days after paddy harvest resort to burning of stubble as the easiest way out. The experts from PAU elaborated on the pros and cons of various alternate options that are being propagated to farmers such as: happy seeders, super straw management, incorporation methods using paddy straw chopper and mulcher, straw bailing for use as fuel in power generation, biogas etc. Despite various options farmers are not adopting these options, due to the extra cost of money, labour and time.Additional Chief Secretary Development Punjab Mr. Vishwajeet Khanna outlined various steps being taken by State Government to resolve this issue, including strict enforcement of penalties on farmers. State Government has urged the Central Government to provide additional financial assistance to farmers, as an incentive not to burn the paddy straw and opt alternate methods. This request is under consideration of the Central Government, he said.The meeting was attended by Vice Chancellor PAU, Mr. Baldev Singh Dhillon and Adviser Chandigarh Mr. Parimal Rai.