Political Leaders in Haryana, Punjab, Agitate Blame Game on Stubble Burning, as Air Quality Worsens

Stubble burning in Punjab has entered what many believe is its peak zone, with average daily cases of fires since October 28 going above 1,950, according to data compiled by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI). The situation is no better in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. The average daily cases of fires over the last five days in these states were 100 and 50, respectively.

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann has blamed the BJP government at the center for targeting Punjab’s farmers on the issue of stubble burning, alleging that the BJP’s “anti-farmers” and “anti-Punjab” stance has been exposed as the party “hates Punjabi farmers” since they had protested against the now repealed farm laws.

However, Haryana CM Manohar Lal says AAP leaders first announced freebies and then expected help from the Central Government to fulfill their fake promises. He also advised Mr. Mann to follow Haryana’s pace and incentivize farmers for stubble management.

Mr. Lal mentions that the events of stubble burning in Haryana have come down by 25% this year. On November 2, he said, “So far, in the year 2022, only 2,249 incidents of farm fires have been reported in Haryana, whereas in Punjab, these incidents have increased by 20%. Till now, 21,500 farm fire incidents have been reported in Punjab”.

“Like Haryana, Punjab should also make arrangements for stubble management. The Haryana Government has provided an incentive of ₹1,000 per acre to those who do not burn stubble. Also, ₹50 per quintal incentive amount and subsidy on straw management equipment are given to the farmers for making stubble bales, among other measures,” he said.

Government data based on satellite imagery show that in the ongoing Kharif season, from September 15 to November 3, as many as 24,146 cases of farm fires have been reported in Punjab.

The Punjab Chief minister had pointed out that only three cities in Punjab figure among 32 cities of north India with poor Air Quality Index (AQI). “But the BJP and the Centre have unleashed a slanderous campaign against the hard-working and resilient farmers of the State by squarely blaming them for environmental hazards,” Mr. Mann assumed.

He said that BJP was silent over far worst AQI in Faridabad, Manesar, Gurgaon, Sonipat, Gwalior and Indore, and other States where the saffron party is in power.


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