Chandigarh, Oct 10 (IANS) The hazardous stubble burning and the ensuing environmental and health concerns linked to it were highlighted at a one-day workshop held here on Wednesday.
Bharatiya Kisan Union's (BKU) president Balbir Singh Rajewal said farmers are becoming soft targets and are being bullied to shift from their traditional ways of crop management.
"The subsidies being offered -- 50 per cent for individual farmers and 80 per cent for cooperative societies for the machinery -- are no longer supporting the farmer as the prices of the machines have gone up. Intervention for a forceful shift to introduce crop diversity and stubble management have failed so far," Rajewal pointed out.
Addressing the gathering, Punjab's chief principal secretary Suresh Kumar said: "Punjab's farmers are the worst hit despite, and due to the policies and schemes of the Green Revolution. Penalising and arresting farmers without addressing their concerns is not something a democratically elected government should be encouraging."
Experts opined that stubble burning is one of the key sources responsible for the severe air pollution levels in Delhi and its neighbouring states during winters. In the last few days, since the onset of the crop residue burning, the air quality in Delhi and regions across the Indo-Gangetic plain, has
moved to the poor and very poor category, it was pointed out.
Gulshan Rai, chief engineer, Punjab Pollution Control Board, appealed to farmers and the citizens not to burn the paddy straw.