IEP New Delhi/ Chandigarh, November 4:
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today said that the state government will leave no stone unturned for making state free from paddy straw burning by coming year.
Interacting with the media here, the Chief Minister, accompanied by his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal, said that the state government is working on a multi pronged strategy and has already roped in agriculture experts and the farmers unions for working out a viable solution for this problem. He said that already the state government has given 1.20 lakh machines for the insitu management of the paddy straw. Bhagwant Mann said that this is problem of the entire north India and the union government must intervene for joint resolution of this matter by all aggrieved states.
The Chief Minister said that the state government is encouraging the farmers to adopt crop diversification. However, he said that the union government must give them remunerative MSP for these crops. Bhagwant Mann said that this will help in encouraging the farmers adopt alternate crops and solving this problem.
The Chief Minister said that the farmers get time of 10-12 days between harvesting of paddy and sowing of wheat. He said that in lack of any viable alternative the farmers rely on a matchstick to solve the problem. Bhagwant Mann said that if the centre provides solution for it then the farmers will never burn the paddy straw.
The Chief Minister said that the state government has already encouraged farmers after thousands of panchayats had passed resolutions for not burning paddy straw. He said that the country feel proud that in any year bumper crop has been produced. However, Bhagwant Mann said that we forget that this has also enhanced the production of paddy straw too.
The Chief Minister said that in Punjab farmers cultivate paddy on 75 lakh hectares of land out of which the paddy straw is burnt over only on 40 lakh hectares of land. He said that the remaining farmers never indulge in such practice, which pollutes environment. Bhagwant Mann said that the state government has set up a make plant of bio energy production at Sangrur adding that more such plants will be set across the state.
The Chief Minister reminded the the Punjab farmers had played a major role in making the country self-reliant in food production. He said that they had submitted a detailed solution for the paddy straw burning by offering to jointly pay financial assistance to farmers worth Rs 2500 in lieu of not burning paddy straw. However, he said that instead of accepting this proposal the centre had blatantly refused to bail out the farmers. Likewise, Bhagwant Mann said that in order to provide a viable solution for management of paddy straw a large number of investors wanted to come to the state and set up Bio energy plants.
However, the Chief Minister said that the centre must immediately give nod to such projects pending with them. He said that the Punjabi farmer is fully sensitised towards not burning paddy straw as he knows that it will adversely hit his family too. Bhagwant Mann categorically said that since it is a problem concerning the entire north India, the Union government must have convened a meeting to find a solution to this issue.