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Centre asks Punjab to chalk out detailed plan to control paddy stubble burning

The Centre on Monday asked the Punjab government to chalk out a comprehensive action plan at the micro level for effective control of paddy stubble burning during the ensuing season.

Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary in the Union Agriculture Ministry, told state officials to chalk out a detailed plan while attending a farm demonstration on crop residue management at Rangian village in Kharar tehsil of SAS Nagar district in Punjab, an official statement said.

The states were also told to establish a mechanism to ensure effective utilisation of machines, promote the use of bio-decomposer in a complementary mode with the Crop Residue Management (CRM) machines, and promote ex-situ utilisation of straw by way of mapping demand from adjoining industries like biomass-based power plants, bioethanol plants etc.

The state were also told to take up information, education and communication activities for mass awareness among farmers through intensive campaigns in the electronic, print, and social media as well as through kisan melas, publications, seminars and advisories with the involvement of all stakeholders in this sector.

“…if all the actions are taken at the State level in a holistic manner, stubble burning can be effectively controlled during the coming season,” Likhi said.

During the past 4 years, the officials say, the states have distributed more than 2.07 lakh machines to the individual farmers and to more than 38,000 Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, which also include more than 3,243 balers and rakes which are used for ex-situ collection of straw.

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