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To end crop burning, govt must give free machines to farmers

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Dear Sir,

Recently a report was submitted to the Supreme Court by an Amicus Curiae on November 17 in an ongoing case related to air pollution, it suggests that the best solution to avoid burning of crop residue is to till the straw back into the field using certain machines. Official estimates state that over 30 million tonnes of paddy straw are annually generated in Punjab and Haryana, which are later burnt by farmers to reduce turnaround time between harvesting paddy and sowing wheat crop.

Report states that The Centre and state governments must provide machines free of cost to farmers to use. This requires largescale governmental procurement of the agricultural equipment, which should be given to every panchayat for common use,” the report states. It also states that the most “promising technologies” in this are Turbo Happy Seeder (THS), which allows for seeding without till and the Super Straw Management System (S-SMS) (developed by Punjab Agricultural University), which allows for straw to be spread on the field.  

“The THS and S-SMS each cost between Rs 1.2 to 1.5 lakh. Given that there are roughly 13,000 panchayats in Punjab and some 6,500 in Haryana, if even three sets of these machines are given free to each panchayat, it would only require some Rs 2,000 crores to be spent in Punjab and Haryana (Punjab would need Rs 1,300 and Haryana Rs 650 crore),” the report states.

Harish Salve, the amicus curiae who works closely with the Environment Pollution (Prevention & Control) Authority (EPCA), submitted the plan to the apex court.

Just to put things in perspective we as a nation are spending Rs 2500 cr only on Statue of Sardar Patel and all we need is Rs 2000 Cr to eliminate this problem of crop burning.

We need your leadership to make it happen


Diljit Singh

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