CHANDIGARH: Former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday demanded that the Haryana government give compensation of at least Rs 2,500 per acre for crop residue management to small and marginal farmers who did not burn stubble.
If Punjab can give Rs 2,500 per acre as compensation to small and marginal farmers who refrained from burning crop residue, why can't Haryana do the same, the senior Congress leader asked.
Speaking in his hometown Rohtak, Hooda said the state government's announcement of giving Rs 1,000 per acre as an operational charge for managing crop residue would not be enough.
The Leader of Opposition in the Haryana Assembly also suggested the government to fix a minimum support price for crop residue and purchase it from farmers the same way it procures crops.
"The government should fix MSP and purchase the crop residue, which can be put to use in various industries, including in power plants," he said.
Regarding pollution levels increasing due to stubble burning, the 72-year-old opined that blaming farmers who set fire to crop residue was not going to solve the problem as various stakeholders need to find a solution to the issue.
"There are various factors that cause pollution. Burning stubble is only one of them. There is pollution caused by vehicle fumes, industries, construction activities and several other factors that are responsible for it. Just putting the blame on farmers is not the right thing to do," Hooda said.
Notably, the burning of crop residue by farmers in Haryana and Punjab is being stated to be one of the major reasons behind the severe pollution levels in Delhi-NCR.