PATNA: Bihar's agriculture department has denied all aids under the direct benefit transfer (DBT) system to 250 farmers who were caught stubble-burning in their fields by officials during an awareness drive.
The state government has imposed a blanket ban on stubble burning in the fields to check air pollution and save diminishing fertility of the soil.
CM Nitish Kumar had recently issued a strict warning to the farmers that if they indulge in stubble burning in their farmlands, financial assistance and subsidies under government schemes would be denied.
Carrying out the directive, 250 farmers were caught stubble burning during an awareness drive conducted by the department.
The state offers electricity to farmers at a cheaper rate of Rs 75 paise per unit, and a litre of diesel at Rs 60 among other assistances.
All the farmers, identified violating the ban on stubble burning, belong to Kaimur, Rohtas, Buxar, Nalanda, Gaya and Patna.
Official sources said that all benefits to them have been halted for the next three years.
Recently, FIRs were lodged against six farmers in Rohtas and other districts of South Bihar where large scales of wheat and paddy are cultivated.
Secretary of agriculture department N Saravanan Kumar has directed the officials of his department to keep visiting the interiors of the districts and educate the farmers on how stubble burning causes the soil to become barren over time due to loss of fertility.
Around 100 farmers in Patna division who were also caught stubble burning were debarred from availing the direct government benefits.
In Bihar, the average production of rice (paddy) is around 5 million tonnes each year followed by wheat cultivation which is around 4.5 million tonnes per year.
A gram panchayat named Darbeshpura under Katri Sarai block in Bihar's Nalanda district holds the record for paddy cultivation of 22.4 tonnes per hectare which surpassed the Chinese record in 2011.