Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal on Wednesday 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.
Stating the stubble burning practice is not only responsible for polluting the environment but is also rendering the soil less fertile, the Union Minister urged the Prime Minister to empower MPs to use their MPLAD scheme for arranging high-cost machinery needed for better management of crop residue to the farmers.
In the letter, she has said that through a Central scheme under the name of 'promotion of agricultural mechanisation for in-situ management of crop residue in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi' provided subsidy to incentivise farmers not to burn crop residue, the number of machines provided was much less than needed.
According to an official statement, she apprised the Prime Minister that in the absence of much-needed high-cost machinery, farmers did not have any option but to get rid of their crop residue.
Requesting the Prime Minister to take all measures needed to address the serious issue of stubble burning which had turned the entire region into a gas chamber, Badal said if MPs are allowed to purchase balers and other associated machinery for Panchayats, FSOs or group of farmers, it would go a long way in improving the environment by curbing the practice of stubble burning and reducing the air pollution levels across the region, the statement added.
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