Several reports have emerged of continuing crop stubble burning by farmers in Punjab and Haryana, despite a ban on the practice.
The practice is a major cause of pollution in the states and the neighbouring Delhi.
Farmers say that farm waste management is expensive and they don’t get any financial support from the government.
The use of farm equipment for crop residue management puts an additional financial burden on small and marginal growers who are already in financial trouble, according to farmers. Limited availability of time until the beginning of the next sowing season is considered another reason.
“We have calculated that the use of machines is putting an additional cost burden of Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 6,000 per acre on the farmers, which they are unable to afford,” farm expert Devinder Sharma told NDTV.
While Punjab has seen 330 incidents of crop residue burning, Haryana has witnessed 701 incidents so far, according to officials. Each year, the states generate 220 lakh tonne and 65 lakh tonne of paddy stubble, respectively.