The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has found a better way to tackle stubble burning on paddy fields by launching a barter system to prevent farmers from setting afire the remains of their paddy crop on their farms.
The strategy is a better one compared to the one followed by Capt Amarinder Singh's government in Punjab, where farmers are penalised for burning stubble.
The Uttar Pradesh government, particularly the Unnao administration, has initiated a process of 'rewarding' farmers for not burning stubble and handing it over to the State authorities.
According to media reports, the Adityanath government is giving farmers cow dung manure and bio-fertilizers in return for handing over the stubble.
So far, 500 tonnes of stubble have been collected from Uttar Pradesh growers.
Times of India reported that in Unnao district, farmers are provided one trolley of bio-fertilizer for every two trolleys of stubble they supply at the 135 gaushalas or cow protection centres.
The Uttar Pradesh government’s strategy is a different one from that of Punjab, where stubble burning this year has surged 2.4 times this year compared with last year. However, the State government has also filed 1,000-odd cases against about 2,000 farmers for burning stubble.
The barter scheme is a win-win for all the stakeholders. For the government, the scheme will end the problem of stubble burning. The farmer, on the other hand, gets bio-fertilizer almost for nothing and not burning the stubble.
This will help improve the environment and avoid pollution. Also, the stubble can be used to feed the animals at gaushalas and thus the scheme will take care of a major issue that involves finance.
Besides, bio-fertilizers encourage organic farming, while also reducing the need for chemical fertlizers in the case of non-organic farming.
The Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister has also made it clear that farmers in the State should not be harassed for stubble burning.
The Uttar Pradesh government had also looked at the option of buying machinery to tackle stubble burning. It has asked farmer cooperatives to buy the machinery and offered them various incentives.
Stubble burning on paddy farms in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are causing environmental problems and pollution in as far as Delhi.
Punjab accounts for 82 per cent of all stubble burning cases among the States so far this year.
Nearly 14,500 cases of stubble burning have been reported in the three States. Of these, about 11,900 have taken place in Punjab, 2,000 cases in Haryana and the rest in UP. Last year, during the same period, Punjab had recorded less than 5,000 cases of stubble burning.
The Supreme Court has taken a stern view of the stubble burning issue and has appointed a one-man panel of retired justice Madan B Lokur to investigate the issue.
M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani
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