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Help farmers or face contempt, Punjab told

Help farmers or face contempt, Punjab told”

The December 2015 order issued by NGT was based on the appeal of Greater Noida based environmentalist, Vikrant Tongad versus Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) where it had imposed a ban on burning of crop residues across India and particularly in states of Haryana, UP, Punjab and Rajasthan.

The Bench took exception to the fact that even after more than two years, nothing substantial has been done with regard to stubble burning. You pick up one farmer, produce one farmer in entire Punjab, who you have said "here is the money, you will go to jail if you burn your crop' or here is a machine that can help you manage the residue", the bench noted.

"For two years, we waited for you (Punjab) to comply with our direction". Farmers of Punjab are under debt. What steps did you take in this regard? "You think you have no obligation to anyone on this earth".

He said the NTPC and representatives of other companies were willing to cut and buy crop residue from the fields.

During the proceedings, advocate IG Kapila, appearing for the farmers, referred to a newspaper report and said the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and a few biomass power units have expressed their intent to purchase crop residue from farmers in surrounding States. "The Punjab government should help farmers by giving Rs 200 per quintal or provide financial assistance on machinery, as per the NGT order, for the disposal of straw", BKU (Ugrahan) President Joginder Singh and general secretary Sukhdev Singh Khokrikalan said in a joint statement here.

Following the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), state government and district administration has tightened strictures against stubble burning, and booked charges against farmers, who are not following orders.

Delhi's pollution at Lodhi area was recorded as poor category on Wednesday evening.



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