In order to reduce the air pollution in North India, the governments of Punjab and Haryana have placed a ban on stubble burning. This, in turn, has placed the farmers in a fic since stubble burning is an important process of sowing for the next harvest. Having come at the last moment, the order is being violated by many farmers, even at the cost of hefty fines because they are left with very less time to find an alternative solution to do away with the residual crops.
The farmers said that they have no choice but to defy the National Green Tribunal's order as to abide by it would mean stocking the stubble- a practice that may cost the farmers close to Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000per acre.
Speaking to the NDTV, Shamsher Singh,the president of the Bharti Kisan Union Lakhowal said, "We don't want to create pollution but there is no time left, we have to sow the next crop now, we are compelled to do this." Having said this, the farmers want a practical alternative to the order. But their appeals to the state governments are not likely to be implemented any time soon as the Punjab government is blaming the Centre for not granting money to help them provide incentive and infrastructural assistance to farmers to stop them from burning the crop residue.
Meanwhile, Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal said, "We have no money. We have asked for Rs. 2,000 crore per year for three years from the Centre. These are choices government of India has to take. We have communicated it to the agriculture minister the finance minister and the PM."
It has been reported that residue burning in paddy fields has led to considerable haze in Northern India. It has also been said that Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a total of Rs. 7,091 crore is needed for three years. But there has been no response to the letter so far.
However, the Punjab Government has come up with an action plan where is plans to use the stubble for power generation, composting and purchasing of machines. Apart from that both the Punjab and Haryana governments have said that there is a sharp decline in stubble burning and have also said that they have taken action against 500 farmers each.
S Narayanan, Member Secretary, Haryana Pollution Control Board said the state has been monitoring farms through satellite. While the Haryana Government has earned six and half lakhs through fines, it is reluctant to anger the farmers. Haryana CM, ML Khattar said, "We have tried fining farmers too but it causes a lot of dissatisfaction, they have to take care of their crops but we're trying to come up with the best solutions."
In a recent report by the Indian Institute of Kanpur, stopping farm fires could reduce a quarter of the pollution in Delhi.