Amritsar: The air quality in Punjab is expected to deteriorate as the farmers in Chatiwind village have started to burn the stubble post the harvest season, which had improved due to imposition of nationwide lockdown by the Centre to contain the spread of coronavirus. Farmers are prohibited to burn the farm residue as it worsens Delhi’s air quality. The stubble burning practice is not only responsible for polluting the environment but is also rendering the soil less fertile.
“We don’t have any other option but to burn the farm residues,” said Joginder Singh, a farmer in Chatiwind village to ANI.
We have incurred huge losses this year as we could only produce 12 to 14 quintal per acre crop instead of last years’ 20-21 quintal, he added.
Last year, the government agency System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) blamed stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana for the poor quality of air in Delhi. The share of stubble burning from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana in Delhi’s pollution rose to 46 per cent on Friday, the highest in 2019, government agency System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting (SAFAR) said.
Another farmer of the village, Kehar Singh said,
If we use electricity to burn the residues, it will cost us Rs. 6,000 per acre. But, we are provided with electricity for 2 hours in a day and the government is not even offering us compensation for this.
According to Kehar Singh, the farmers’ community is prepared to deal with any legal matter coming up while he said, “It is wrong to accuse us when the government has failed to provide with the essential resources.”
Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow MPs to use the MPLAD funds to curb the practice of stubble burning by funding stubble cleaning and super seeder machines to farmers.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, the Union Minister has stated that one of the major reasons for unabated stubble burning practice across north India was the high cost of machines, which poor farmers are not in a position to afford.