Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking compensation for farmers for crop residue management to check the dangerous trend of stubble burning, which has triggered a major smog crisis in the northern belt of the country.
Amarinder Singh also requested the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of Chief Ministers of the affected states along with the Union Ministers for Agriculture, Food and Environment on the issue.
Reiterating his request, earlier raised in a letter on July 5 this year, the Chief Minister sought the Prime Minister's intervention for arresting the problem of paddy straw burning by providing a bonus of Rs 100 per quintal as incentive to compensate the farmers to manage the crop residue scientifically.
He pointed out that most of north India, including New Delhi, is currently in the throes of a pollution crisis, induced largely by burning of paddy straw in the paddy-growing areas of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
"The higher courts of the country and the National Green Tribunal have also taken cognizance of the matter.
"However, what is probably not being understood in proper perspective is that a problem which is essentially scientific and economic cannot be tackled through other means, including coercion," said the Chief Minister.
"Scientific management and disposal of paddy straw entails significant cost for the farmer and he naturally prefers the cheaper and easy solution of burning the crop residue," he pointed out, adding that at present there are no technical or biological systems for managing this farm operation that is economically attractive to the farmer.
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