Haryana Minister slams Punjab govt. over stubble burning; AAP hits back

Haryana Minister slams Punjab govt. over stubble burning; AAP hits back

A farmer burns straw stubble after a harvest at a paddy field engulfed by smog in Jalandhar on November 3, 2023.

A farmer burns straw stubble after a harvest at a paddy field engulfed by smog in Jalandhar on November 3, 2023.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Haryana Agriculture Minister Jai Prakash Dalal on Saturday slammed the Bhagwant Mann government in Punjab over the stubble-burning incidents in the state, prompting a sharp reaction from the Aam Aadmi Party.

In his post on X, Mr. Dalal shared statistics of farm fires in Punjab and Haryana over the last three days.

“We have demanded water from (Arvind) Kejriwal ji and Bhagwant Mann ji, not smoke of paddy stubble,” Mr. Dalal wrote in Hindi.

According to the data shared by the Haryana agriculture and farmers’ welfare minister, Punjab witnessed 1,921, 1,668 and 1,551 farm fire incidents on November 1, 2 and 3 while stubble burning incidents in Haryana were 99, 48 and 28 on the three days.

Reacting to Dalal’s statement, the AAP accused him of “spreading lies”.

“Twenty out of the 52 most polluted districts in the country are in Haryana and even then the Khattar government is playing politics and blaming Punjab,” Punjab AAP unit spokesperson Neel Garg said.

The Mann government in Punjab provided machinery to farmers to check stubble-burning incidents, he said.

“And what did the Khattar government do… only politics,” he said attacking the BJP-led government in the state.

Paddy straw burning in Punjab and Haryana is considered one of the major reasons behind the alarming spike in air pollution levels in the national capital in October and November.

As the window for wheat — a key Rabi crop — is very short after paddy harvest, some farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue for sowing of the next crop.

Several parts of Haryana on Friday reported air quality indices in the ‘severe’ category while it was ‘poor’ in parts of neighbouring Punjab.

Punjab reported a total of 12,813 stubble-burning incidents till Friday, according to Punjab Remote Sensing Centre data.

#Haryana #Minister #slams #Punjab #govt #stubble #burning #AAP #hits