Putting the ball back in the state’s court on the issue of crop residue management, the Centre on Friday said Punjab was allocated Rs 49.08 crore and Rs 48.50 crore during 2016-17 and 2017-18 respectively to deal with the issue.
The state, however, did not utilise any of the amounts, it added, in the detailed chart of the funds issued to Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
On the other hand, the BJP-ruled Haryana utilised Rs 39 crore out of the Rs 45 crore allocated for the same in 2017-2018. Likewise Rajasthan and UP too used the allocations for the purpose they had been released.
According to the Centre, burning of crop residue in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan also contributes to increasing pollution levels.
For crop residue management, under sub-mission on agriculture mechanisation, the Department of Agriculture Cooperation and Farmers Welfare allocated funds to the four states, it said.
National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi Government and these four northern states to take strict measures to deal with this serious biennial threat.
In this regard, Agriculture Ministry issued an advisory to the state governments to create awareness among the farmers about the harmful effect of straw burning.
The state governments have been directed to facilitate farmers in purchasing residue management machines and equipment.
The state governments have also been directed that Rs 4000/ hectare shall be used from the funds available for demonstration of machines under sub-mission on agricultural mechanisation for demonstration of straw management machinery at farmers’ fields.