Provide farmers economically viable alternatives to stubble burning: SAD tells govt




Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today asked the new Congress government not to ride rough shod over farmers to enforce ban on stubble burning and urged it to instead broad base the distribution of straw balers besides providing other economically viable alternatives to farmers to stop this practice effectively.

Expressing serious concern over the new dictatorial attitude of the Congress government which was using civil and police machinary to impose penalties on farmers, SAD spokesman Maheshinder Singh Grewal said this was already leading to flash points and could become a law and order problem.

“Famers rightfully are looking at the new government to give them viable alternatives so that they don’t resort to stubble burning. Instead of doing this and broad basing the distribution of straw balers and happy seeders which was started two years back by the SAD-BJP government, the new government is using force to stop this practice”.

Explaining the steps taken by the SAD-BJP government in this regard, Mr Grewal said farmer cooperative societies were encouraged to buy balers as well as happy seeders, which sow wheat among paddy stubble at fifty per cent subsidy and the same were leased out at nominal rates. He said even the Union government and the National Policy for Management of Crop Residue had urged states to encourage use of equipment for crop residue management. “There is no indication from the government that it will broadbase this effort”, he added.

Asking the government to convince farmers defying the current wheat stubble ban through a consenesus approach, the Akali spokesman said the government should also reflect why farmers were protesting against it so soon after government formation.

“The basic issue is lack of trust in the new Congress government. Farmers are feeling betrayed by the Congress party which had promised to waive off all farmer loans immediately after coming into power. Instead of doing this the new government is forming Committees to delay implementation of this promise. This has not only led to resentment amongst the farming community but also resulted in a spike in suicide cases. The government must step in immediately to fulfill all promises made to farmers failing which the situation is likely to worsen”, he added.

— PTC News