15th December, 2017
National

Give free machines to farmers to handle crop burning, says a plan to SC

The menace of stubble burning now is dying slowly in and around Delhi but to tackle the menace next time, the governments are fastening their seat belts like never before.

Now, a roadmap has suggested that machines for stubble burning shall be given to the farmers of Punjab and Haryana for ‘free’ instead of providing those on subsidisies. The roadmap also suggests that the cost to arrange the machines shall be recovered by imposing petrol and diesel cess on sale in Delhi.

The roadmap submitted to the Supreme Court on Nov 17 suggests that that every Panchayat shall be given a machine for common use to till the agricultural residue back in the fields.

About suggestions

The report suggests the use of Turbo Happy Seeder (THS) and Super straw Management System (SMS -- developed by Punjab Agrilcultural University). The method of THS helps in sowing without till and SMS helps in spreading straw on the fields.

Cost

The THS and SMS cost between 1.2 to 1.5 lakh each. There are 13,000 panchayats in Punjab and 6,500 panchayats in Haryana.

Giving these machines for free to each panchayat would cost Rs 2,000 crore.

Charge cess

The amicus curae, Harish Salve, suggests that the cost of R 2,000 crore shall be recovered by charging cess on sale of fuel in Delhi. This would also eradicate the price differential between states that presently is somewhere near Rs 10.

It adds that Delhi consumes 10 lakh tonnes of petrol and 13 lakh tonnes of diesel annually. If a cess of Rs 1 is imposed on petrol and Rs 5 is imposed on diesel, the city    would contribute Rs 900 crore in a year.