Punjab Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal said that the state government would take every possible step to stop stubble burning in the upcoming paddy harvesting season.Dhaliwal, who was addressing a press conference in Ludhiana said that Agriculture department had pulled up all socks to manage the stubble and it will distribute 56000 machines under in-situ management of stubble this season taking the total tally of machines to 146422 machines as 90422 machines were already given to farmers from 2018-2022.
Pointing about new development in program of machines' distribution this year, Dhaliwal said that now small farmers would also get machines like super seeder, happy seeder, zero drill as 500 such equipment will be sent to 154 blocks of state. He said that after September 15, from class-IV to director rank officer of Agriculture Department including himself, will stay in the fields and visit door to door for sensitizing the food growers against stubble burning.
The Minister said that a massive awareness drive would be launched in the rural belt of Punjab in coming days comprising officials of Rural Development and Panchayat, Environment departments, NGOs, Students of schools and colleges and others to exhort the farmers for adopting in-situ crop residue management wholeheartedly to manage the stubble.
Lashing out at Union Government for turning down cash incentive proposal to farmers for not burning stubble, he called it anti-farmer, anti-Punjab and said that the state government had proposed to give Rs 2,500 per acre to paddy growers suggesting that the Centre will pay Rs 1,500 per acre while Rs 1,000 per acre will be borne by Punjab and Delhi governments.
Coming heavily on the previous governments, he said that several farmers failed to get the benefit of the subsidy on agricultural implements and a scam of Rs. 150 crores had been surfaced. Its report has been handed over to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and nobody will be spared.
Soliciting support of farmers to wipe out menace of stubble burning, Dhaliwal expressed hope that this year not a single farmers will indulge in this practice.Prominent among present on the occasion included MLAs Rajinderpal Kaur Chhina, Jiwan Singh Sangowal, Daljit Singh Grewal, Hardeep Singh Mundian, Kulwant Singh Sidhu and others.