Faced with the problem of farmers indulging in stubble burning of wheat and paddy crops which causes environmental and health concerns, the Haryana government on Thursday announced that it will spend Rs 12 crore for the management of crop residue in the state.
Chief Secretary D.S. Dhesi, who chaired a meeting of the state-level sanctioning committee of Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojna (RKVY) here on Thursday, said Rs 12 crore was approved for various activities of crop residue management.
"This would include providing subsidy for purchase of Happy Seeders, Straw Balers and Straw Reapers," Dhesi said.
"During 2016-17, purchase of 1,462 Straw Reapers and 68 Happy Seeders was subsidised under RKVY. During 2017-18, provision has been made for the purchase of 2,433 Straw Reapers, 231 Happy Seeders and 38 Straw Balers," he added.
With a bumper paddy crop expected in agrarian states Haryana and Punjab this kharif season -- likely in excess of 22.5 million tonnes -- concerns are being expressed on the crop residue that will be burnt by farmers to prepare their land for the next crop sowing.
Punjab, which contributes 50 per cent of food grains to the national kitty, is expecting to procure over 18 million tonnes of paddy this season.
The central and state governments, in recent years, have tried several steps -- from warning farmers to registering cases against them to creating awareness on stubble-burning -- but to no avail.
The burning of the crop residue, leading to pollution and smog over northern India in the winter months, has serious health implications for the people.
Even the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has come down heavily on stubble-burning in Punjab and Haryana but farmers in both the states say they have few options available to avoid burning the residue.