The Centre on Friday asked Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan to help farmers manage crop residue
better to stop incidents such as stubble burning, as figures show states such as Punjab haven’t used the funds allocated for the purpose in 2016-17 and 2017-18.
In 2016-17 and 2017-18, about Rs 98 crore was allocated to Punjab for crop residue
management under the Sub-Mission on Agriculture Mechanisation, but data released on Friday showed that none of it was spent.
The Centre, meanwhile, issued an advisory to the four northern states to create awareness among farmers about the harmful effects of straw burning. It also directed the states to demonstrate crop residue
management machines at farm fields using the Rs 132.5 crore allocated to them for this purpose for the current financial year.
In the advisory, the Union agriculture ministry said: “Burning of crop residue
in states such as Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan also contributes to increasing environment pollution levels.”
Green Tribunal has directed Delhi
and the four states to take strict measures to deal with the pollution problem, it said in a statement.
In view of the seriousness of the problem, the ministry directed the four states to facilitate residue management machines and equipment through custom hiring centres or village-level farm machinery banks.
The states have also been directed to utilise Rs 4,000 per hectare available under for demonstration of straw management machines.
According to the ministry data, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan have together utilised Rs 68.01 crore so far.