Chandigarh: To check stubble burning, Punjab needs a proactive policy towards reusing it in sectors like paper, pulp, cement bricks, bio-mass, Rajya Sabha MP, Vikram Sahney, said on Thursday.
He emphasized there was a need to make the use of balers mandatory alongside combine harvesters, as the latter “leaves behind one to two feet of straw stalk on paddy-growing soil”. Each combine harvester is supplemented with a baler to turn stubble into bales of straw that can be transported to the nearest utility for productive use.
Sahney said that the measure could alone solve the problem of stubble burning.
Every year farm fires begins in a period between the paddy harvesting season and before the wheat is sown. Shrinking of the time between these two activities, owing to climate change, has led to an increase in stubble burning which causes serious pollution in the atmosphere.
Sahney added straw can be gainfully used in the paper and pulp industry, cement bricks manufacturing, bio-gas and bio-ethonol production. He said through this, Punjab farmers can become social entrepreneurs through productive use of straw while saving the environment.
He said the Centre should seriously consider making hay balers rental free and also to incentivise sale of straw by the farmers.
A cohesive approach by the state and the Centre is needed to stem the necessary evil at source, together with providing MSP to alternative crops for farmers to get out of the paddy-wheat circle, the Rajya Sabha MP added.