Petition in HC over stubble trouble - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Petition in HC over stubble trouble

Petition in HC over stubble trouble

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 4

For tacking the smoldering issue of stubble-burning and depleting underground water level, a Punjab and Haryana High Court lawyer today approached the Bench with a request to “hold summary proceedings” on a petition filed in public interest for fixing minimum support price for “alternative crops” higher than MSP for paddy.

Referring to closure of schools and other issues due to pollution in the entire north, counsel Charanpal Singh Bagri sought directions to the Union of India and other respondents to advance the date of hearing on his petition to any day this week.

Giving details of the reasons behind his prayers, Bagri submitted the PIL has been filed for fixing MSP for other crops such as maize and pulses higher than paddy as it depletes “drinkable underground water” and results in pollution at the time of harvesting due to burning of paddy straw, stubble or residue.

“If the matter is not heard expeditiously, our upcoming generations are not only going to suffer problem of suffocation, but would also die due to scarcity of drinkable water due to negligence of respondents,” he added.

In his petition, Bagri had earlier asserted paddy was primarily creating threefold hurdles — fast depletion of underground drinkable water, pollution due to stubble or paddy straw burning and creation of financial burden on the state for storing excess paddy during the “paddy season”.

He had added farmers, therefore, should be provided new crops as per geographical location of the area by fixing MSP higher than paddy crop. Bagri said Punjab with 1.5 per cent of the country’s total geographical area was producing nearly 50 per cent of total foodgrain. But unfortunately the Centre did nothing for the progress and prosperity of the state. He added about 85 per cent of the state’s geographical area was under agriculture. Traditionally, farmers were following maize-wheat or sugarcane-maize-wheat cropping pattern. But during last about four decades, they shifted to wheat-rice cropping pattern, leading to increased demand for irrigation water.

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