Stubble burning: Punjab to present 30 farmers before NGT

Delhi Air Pollution post

Following the lead of farmers in Sangrur, farmers in Sheikhupura village of Gurdaspur district also burnt crop residue on Thursday to protest government's prohibitory orders on stubble burning.

In Punjab's Sangrur district, a large number of farmers have started burning their stubble to press in their demands.

A day ahead of an NGT hearing on stubble burning, Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) Dakunda and BKU Ugrahan, the two biggest Kisan Unions of Punjab, said that small and semi-medium farmers of the state had no other option but to burn the paddy stubble till the time government supported them.

"For two years, we waited for you (Punjab) to comply with our direction". What steps did you take in this regard? According to a Punjab government survey, there are almost 18 lakh farm household in Punjab, out of which almost 10.25 lakh farmers own just one to two hectares of land. This is not a political issue but this issue relates to the environment.

During the proceedings, advocate IG Kapila, appearing for the farmers, referred to a newspaper report and said the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and a few biomass power units have expressed their intent to purchase crop residue from farmers in surrounding States. "Our expense will increase if we don't burn stubble; our land will not be ready for sowing and the cropping season will get delayed", said a protesting farmer, and added that government should pay them compensation to cover their losses.

The detailed list of activities, which include installation of machines to farmers in the village, will be provided to the court, the spokesperson said, adding that the equipment was already operational across 67 acres of land.

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