Rejecting the ban on burning of paddy straw in Punjab, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA from Jagraon in Ludhiana, Sarvjit Kaur Manuke has asked the farmers to go ahead with the burning till the state government doesn’t provide them with financial help for disposal of stubble.Kicking up a controversy in a video message, Manuke has clearly blamed the successive state governments for not coming good on their promises of financial assistance to the farmers for proper disposal of stubble that cause severe pollution not only in Punjab but also in neighboring states.
Interestingly paddy burning is also stated to be a major cause of pollution in Delhi where AAP is running the government. Manuke’s statement is expected to cause a political turmoil in the state as the issue of paddy burning has brought criticism for erstwhile SAD as well as the present Captain Amarinder Singh led Congress government.“FIRs are registered against the farmers caught burning paddy in their fields. But has the state government been able to provide an alternative to these farmers who have to work hard throughout the year?” questioned Manuke.
In the video message, she said that government should first provide facility to the farmers and then take action against them if they are found burning paddy. “The state government does not take action against factories causing pollution. They cannot even completely ban crackers on Diwali that are a major cause of pollution. But they will arrest farmers who burn their poppy straw and have no other option” the AAP MLA said.Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) Chairman Kahan Singh Pannu said that action against those involved in stubble burning will be taken. “As per law action will be taken if norms are violated by burning of stubble” said Pannu. He said that the government is working to stop stubble working and farmers are being made aware about the issue.“When we go to the farmers, they question us that while we do not act against pollution caused by crackers, we stop them from burning paddy” Pannu said. Smoke that emanates from burning of paddy straw is carried to surrounding states by high velocity winds causing inconvenience to the people.
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