Sanjeev Singh Bariana
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 8
The Punjab Government today initiated the process to pay small and marginal farmers an amount of Rs 100 per quintal for non-basmati produce of rice in case they commit that they would not burn the crop residue as per the direction of the Supreme Court.
Secretary (Agriculture) Kahan Singh Pannu forwarded a communication to all Deputy Commissioners in the state asking them to commence the tabulation process of farmers as per the Prime Minister Kisan Nidhi Scheme. Village panchayats have been asked to maintain an inventory of crop residue burning incidents. This meant that the concerned panchayat would verify that applicant farmer had not burnt stubble in his fields besides the size of his land possession.
The data uploaded by the panchayats will be verified by the SDOs and SDMs concerned. No farmer with more than five acres of land is eligible for the scheme.
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has directed the Agriculture Department to work out the modalities for immediate implementation of the Supreme Court direction issued on November 5, 2019, on providing financial assistance to small and marginal farmers who had not burnt any paddy straw.
At the same time, the Chief Minister also ordered stringent action against those found violating the ban on stubble burning, in line with the apex court’s directives on penalisation of such farmers.
The Chief Minister chaired a high-level meeting to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court orders, which would put an additional burden on the cash-strapped state, which was already reeling under fiscal problems in the GST regime. He stressed that the central government would have to support the state for a permanent resolution of the problem.
Captain Amarinder also asked the Police to crack down on all offending farmers. The meeting was informed that more than 900 FIRs had so far been registered against erring farmers, mostly in Muktsar Sahib and Bathinda, with some cases reported in Sangrur.
Rain respite from pollution
- Muktsar: Though the recent rain has given some respite from smog, farm experts say that it was a temporary relief as the moisture level in paddy crop has gone up and the burning of paddy straw will now produce more smoke.
- Further, with the rain, the paddy harvesting season is set to last longer for a few more days.
In Sangrur, 33 held, 54 booked for farm fires
- Sangrur: DC Ghanshaym Thori has suspended a village nambardar for burning stubble and ordered arrest and filing of chargesheets against farmers involved in the practice.
- “We have registered 54 FIRs and arrested 33 farmers involved in stubble burning,” said the DC.
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