Farmers can’t give up crop stubble burning completely: Amarinder Singh1 min read . Updated: 15 Nov 2017, 06:31 PM IST
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh says looking for affordable solutions for the problem of crop stubble burning, a major reason for Delhi smog every winter
Chandigarh: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said “farmers cannot be expected to give up crop stubble burning completely", till the time they are provided viable solutions.
The statement comes on a day when Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal met his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar to discuss air pollution and crop stubble burning. Asserting that a long-term solution was needed to arrest the problem, the Punjab chief minister said the state government was looking for affordable solutions for this problem.
Notably, farmers of Punjab and Haryana have been blamed for the rising air pollution level in northern states including Delhi triggered by their stubble burning.
“We are engaged in spreading awareness among farmers on the need to stop burning the stubble, not just for the sake of others but also for their own sake, as they are the worst affected by the air pollution triggered by such burning. However, till we are able to offer them viable solutions, we cannot really expect them to completely give up burning crop residue since it’s a matter of their livelihood and survival," Amarinder Singh told PTI in an interview.
The Punjab chief minister has refused to meet Kejriwal after the latter sought a meeting with him in Chandigarh. He urged the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener to refrain from trying to “politicize" such a serious issue. Amarinder Singh said he failed to understand why the Delhi chief minister was trying to force his hand, knowing well that any such discussion on the issue would be “meaningless and futile".
The Punjab chief minister has been pressing hard for intervention of the centre to convene a meeting of chief ministers of the affected states along with the union ministers for agriculture, food and environment to find out a long-term solution to stubble burning issue.
Amarinder Singh had even suggested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to give a bonus of Rs100 per quintal as an incentive to farmers so they can manage the crop residue scientifically.