Amid strategy formation both by the administration as well as the farmers, peasant body Kisan Sangharsh Committee (KSC) has announced to not let the administration take action against farmers and resort to ‘there and then’ agitation to help them.
“The government should give compensation to the farmers for not burning stubble, even the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had recommended providing stubble management machinery free or at minimal cost to the farmers. However, nothing has been done so far that leaves the farmers with no option but to burn stubble,” KSC general secretary Sarwan Singh Pandher told TOI on Thursday.
He added that in case the government took action against farmers they would begin agitation across the state and would not allow the government to impose fine on farmers, who would burn stubble.
A farmer from Attari, on condition of anonymity, said that instead of setting fire to stubble by individually, the farmers had decided to do it collectively. “This will help us generate pressure on the government as we are their vote bank too,” he added.
Border Area Sangharsh Committee general secretary Rattan Singh Randhawa, also a farmer leader, said the government talked about taking punitive actions against farmers who would set fire to stubble, but it had failed to address the core issue.
Batala agriculture officer Batala Jatinder Singh said that the administration had been trying to bring awareness among farmers about the damage done to their soil by burning stubble.
Amritsar chief agriculture officer D S Chhina said they had deployed sufficient number of nodal officers, who were regularly in touch with farmers advising them to not burn the stubble and follow government guidelines or face action.
Goverment action plan
Monitoring incidents of crop residue burning by Punjab Remote Sensing Agency and ensuring team is immediately sent
Assigning duties to senior administrative secretaries for visiting the districts and reviewing arrangements
Appointment of a nodal officer for each village where paddy is cultivated to ensure on ground presence
Deputy commissioners have been instructed to ensure that all combines being operated in the district have super SMS system fixed
Ensuring early distribution of various machines or equipments to farmers or groups and cooperative societies for management of paddy straw