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Provide incentives to farmers for not burning stubble: LS members tell govt

Shashi Tharoor said the government should follow a legislative approach to implement the national clean air programme

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Credits: Bloomberg
Credits: Bloomberg

Members cutting across party lines said in Lok Sabha on Thursday that alone cannot be blamed for rising levels of air pollution in and around Delhi and urged the government to provide incentives to farmers so that they dispose of stubble in a more scientific manner.

Some members also suggested that minimum support price should be extended on produce like pearl millet (bajra) and sunflower as after harvesting they do not leave stubble.

Congress member Shashi Tharoor said the government should follow a legislative approach to implement the national clean air programme.

The discussion on "Air Pollution and Climate Change" continued for the second day and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar would respond on Friday afternoon.

AAP member Bhagwant Mann and Apna Dal leader Anupriya Patel said that farmers should not be blamed for stubble burning, considered as one of the main reasons for air pollution in the national capital region, and demanded that they should be encouraged to grow crops which do not leave stubble.

They also said that the government should explore ways of using stubble in biogas and cardboard manufacturing to encourage farmers to sell it.

Participating in a discussion, Mann said farmers should be encouraged to grow crops including pearl millet (bajra) and sunflower as they do not leave stubble after harvest.

He said farmers grow crops which leave stubble as they get minimum support price (MSP). If the government announces a reasonable MSP on pearl millet and sunflower, then farmers would be encouraged to cultivate it, Mann, who represents Sangrur in Punjab, said.

Patel said stubble can be used for biogas and cardboard manufacturing and farmers should be encouraged to sell it.

N K Premachandran (RSP) said the poor and the marginalised class were the most vulnerable due to climate change.

He said it was wrong to blame the farmers for air pollution in Delhi-NCR and the pollution arising from thermal power plants too have to be looked into.

He accused that the New Delhi Municipal Corporation of resorting to "environmental terrorism" in the name of curbing pollution.

Speaker Om Birla said climate change was the most widely debated topic in the world.

NCP Supriya Sule said there have been enough dialogues and debates on pollution but not much changes have happened.

Instead of "wasting money" on advertisements, governments should spend that money for social sectors, she added.

YSRCP Lavu S Devarayalu urged the central government to take hard decisions to deal with pollution.

First Published: Thu, November 21 2019. 20:05 IST