Haryana had made significant progress on the issue of stubble burning, which is a major contributor to air pollution in the national capital region (NCR) each year.

Stubble burning in Haryana decreased by 48% between October last year and January 2023, compared to the same period in 2021-2022, according to state agriculture and farmers’ welfare minister Jai Parkash Dalal, who added that the Manohar Lal Khattar-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government is confident of meeting its “zero burning” target.

Stubble-burning incidents in the state fell ‘by 48% from 6,800 to 3,800’ between October 2022 and January 2023, he said, compared to the same period the previous year. He also claimed that on October 22nd, there were ‘more than 50,000’ stubble-burning incidents in Punjab.

Dalal went on to say that the Haryana government buys stubble from farmers at a fixed price of Rs 2,500 per quintal. “Farmers have less time to plant their crops. If the government buys the stubble for a reasonable price, the farmers will not burn it,” he said.

Mandis (agricultural produce markets) in Haryana have the best infrastructure in the country, according to Dalal, who added that work is underway to build a “huge mandi” on 550 acres of land in Kahnaur.

Tenders worth Rs 2,500-3,000 crores will be issued for this mandi, with the government expecting an annual revenue of Rs 40,000-50,000 crore, he said. “From this mandi, we will earn 25% of our (agriculture department) budget of Rs 1.75 lakh crore.”

Dalal went on to say that the Haryana government has increased agriculture allocations in its annual budget fivefold in the last five years. “In FY 2013-14, the budget was Rs 800 crore and this year, it has been kept at Rs 6,200 crore. In addition, the irrigation budget has been increased by 30%.”

He stated that the government’s plan is to ensure that rainwater does not remain stagnant in a farmer’s field for more than three days and that the flood control department has been allocated Rs 1,200 crore for this purpose.

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