Expressing concern over the problem of stubble burning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Tuesday that the central government was working seriously to ensure that farmers were not compelled to burn agricultural residue.
“I want to talk about the important issue of stubble burning from this platform. The central government is working seriously on this issue so that farmers are not compelled to burn agricultural residue after harvesting,” Modi told a farmers’ rally in the Malwa belt of Punjab.
The government has allocated over Rs 50 crore for Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pardesh and Delhi under a scheme to tackle the problem of stubble burning, the prime minister said.
“Out of the total allocation, more than half is focussed on Punjab,” he said.
The government is giving an assistance of 50 per cent to farmers for purchasing machines required to handle crop residue, he said. Urging farmers to take benefit of this scheme, Modi said this would not only improve land fertility, but also give respite from pollution.
Modi appealed to farmers not to burn crop residue keeping in mind the health concern.
“As per an estimate, if farmers don’t burn stubble and allow crop residue to remain on their fields, they can save an expenditure to the tune of Rs 2,000 per hectare on use of fertilisers,” he said.
Stubble burning has been a major concern in northern India during the harvesting season. It led to severe air pollution in National Capital Region and its neighbouring areas in the past few years, prompting the authorities to take measures to tackle the problem.