03 August 2020, Chandigarh: Haryana Chief Minister, Mr. Manohar Lal, has approved a comprehensive plan for crop residue management in the State to the tune of Rs. 1,304.95 crore. The aim of the plan is to prevent stubble burning in the State. The Central Government has provided Rs. 170 crore to the State under this plan this year.
The State Government has submitted to the Central Government an annual action plan to the tune of Rs. 639.10 crore under the scheme ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue’.
The plan entails in-situ and ex-situ management of crop residue, as well as enforcement measures regarding prohibition on stubble burning. All administrative measures will be taken as the previous year, he added.
Management through equipments and establishing Custom Hiring Centres
The State Government is distributing equipment for crop residue management, establishing Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) and establishing dedicated control room at state headquarters at the Directorate of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare.
Incentive of Rs. 100 per quintal is also being provided to non-Basmati growers for crop residue management within seven days, under the direction of the Supreme Court. The Haryana Government has helped small and marginal farmers growing non-Basmati and Muchal variety of Basmati, by providing machines and Rs. 1,000 per acre as operational cost. For these two purposes, the Haryana Government has already provided a sum of Rs. 453 crore in the State Budget.
The State Government has also encouraged establishment of straw bailer units to promote ex-situ management. Under this initiative, 64 such units were established till November 5, 2019, and 131 were established between November 6 and December 11. The state govt has also issued 155 permits to farmers for purchase of such units.
To reiterate the strict stance being taken against stubble burning, the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department has taken stringent action against stubble burners and officers who have failed to control stubble burning. This includes registration of 2,020 FIRs, suspension of seven officers and charge-sheeting of 23 officers. Besides, 499 show-cause notices were issued to Village Level Nodal Officers.
Cash reward on reporting incidences of stubble burning
The Department also offered cash reward of Rs. 1,000 to persons reporting incidences of stubble burning. As many as 82 complaints were received, of which 46 led to discovery of actual fire locations (AFLs). He added that in the coming years, enforcement steps of lodging FIRs and issuing challans will be taken by the officers of the Haryana State Pollution Control Board and not the Agriculture Department.
As per ICAR data, these initiatives led to a sharp decline of 68.12 per cent in actual fire locations, as compared to 2018. While 4,122 AFLs were found in the State between November 6 and 30, 2018, only 1,314 AFLs were found during the corresponding period in 2019.
Photo credit: CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA