Mrs Vini Mahajan, Additional Chief Secretary, Govt of Punjab, today urged the farmers of the state to act responsibly and not indulge in burning of paddy straw in larger interest of the people. She said that the Punjabi farmers are known globally to be hardworking and willing to adopt innovative techniques of farming.She said this while addressing the farmers on the occasion of an awareness session on Impact of Stubble Burning on human health. She said that its a known fact that when a farmer burns paddy straw, it affects human health and there is a need to check this trend.Mrs Vini Mahajan further said that under the Mission Tandrust Punjab of the Punjab government and in a bid to save our environment, the state government is providing subsidy to farmers on farm machinery for in-situ management of paddy straw. This subsidy is being provided for purchasing Super SMS to be fitted on combine harvesters, happy seeder, zero till drill, paddy straw chopper, paddy straw multure, reversible hydraulic MB plough etc. She urged the farmers to take full advantage of this initiative of the Punjab government.Deputy Commissioner Mr Pradeep Kumar Agrawal said that with an aim to check paddy straw and stubble burning in the state, the Punjab government is taking several steps including providing agri machinery to farmers for paddy straw management. Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh had also launched a mobile app named i-khet last year, and till date thousands of farmers have availed its benefit.
He stated that this app has been developed by Punjab Remote Sensing Centre and includes information of all those machines of district Ludhiana that are used for paddy straw management. This mobile application can be downloaded on android based phones from play store and is providing information on district, block and village level in both English and Punjabi languages.Mr Agrawal informed that this mobile app has been developed for facilitating farmers to have access to the agriculture machinery/equipment for in-situ management of crop residue. Noting that such burning causes irreversible damage to the texture of soil, natural environment and human health, the Deputy Commissioner asked all the concerned departments to intensify the campaign to educate farmers about the menace.He further said that the farmers can search information about nearest agri machines including location, owner name and contact number, besides others. He said that on contacting such owners, this machine can be further put to use by the farmers. He informed that in district Ludhiana, details of around 3000 such machines associated with Agriculture Department and Cooperation Department and other machines are also added in this app.Chief Agriculture Officer Dr Baldev Singh appealed to the farmers that in view of 550th Parkash Purab celebrations of Shri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, they should not burn paddy straw this year.Dr Shavinder Singh, Professor, Community Medicine, CMCH, also gave a presentation on ill effects of stubble burning on human health. Progressive farmer Mr Jagdev Singh Bhamaddi also addressed the gathering.