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BW Businessworld

Burning of Paddy Straw By Farmers Can Hurt Punjab CM

Lashing out at the government, the NGT said that even after two years of being asked to come up with an action plan, they have not done much

Burning of paddy straw by farmers’ of states like Punjab has become an issue of national importance.  Around 200 farmers from 11 villages in Patiala district are burning stubble, leading to the rise in air pollution in adjoining areas, including Delhi-NCR, reported most of the media when NGT asked the Punjab state government to produce alleged culprits/ farmers.


The bench, which was headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar, had directed the Punjab state government to bring the 21 farmers before the green court on October 13.
Lashing out at the government, the NGT said that even after two years of being asked to come up with an action plan, they have not done much. The bench clearly asked if the government can produce a single farmer from Punjab before them who can say that whether the government gave him any kind of assistance.

In a relatively different but even having a deep connection with the burning issue, BW Businessworld came to know about a project which has been bringing a solution to the paddy burning issue of Punjab. The irony is that the project had been carried out by one of the farm machine development group named CLASS Farm Machinery and the project had been carried out in the heart of Punjab Chief Minister’s home town ‘Patiala’. The project came up with a climate smart technology idea at a brain storming session in the national capital on climate smart agriculture topic, during an event organised by national skill foundation of India.

A representative of CLASS farm machinery group showed how they have done the hard work to train Patiala farmers about various revenue-generating uses of paddy straw”. “It's the solution we are working towards,” said the representative of CLASS Farm Machinery during a conversation with BW Businessworld. He said whatever paddy straw is generated in Punjab post-production, it is almost 70 per cent which has been traditionally burnt and henceforth creates pollution hazard. Paddy can be used as fodder for cattle. He said ‘it is used in the same way in southern India to feed cattle, where we in Northern-India feed them with wheat straw only’. The representative of CLASS also said that ‘when packaging bags and bio fertilizer, as well as power, can be generated from paddy straw, why should a farmer burn when he can earn from the same’.

Though it is a serious issue that Punjab CM who is consistently finding himself at the receiving end by the national green tribunal on the issue seems unaware of development towards the solution for this national issue. That too when the project has been carried out from his home town. Whatever NGT will do on coming days is yet to be witnessed but it may put a collective responsibility for political parties to start taking issues related to the environment and farmers, with due sincerity.


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