Over 19% rise in farm fires in Punjab, 30.6% drop in Haryana: Environment Minister

Union Environment Minister Bhupendra Yadav on Wednesday said that Punjab has seen over 19 per cent rise in stubble burning, while Haryana has reported a drop of 30.6 per cent in farm fires.

“As of today, Punjab, a state run by the AAP government, has seen an over 19% rise in farm fires over 2021. Haryana has seen a 30.6% drop. Just today, Punjab saw 3,634 fires. There is no doubt over who has turned Delhi into a gas chamber,” he tweeted.

In a series of tweets, he lashed out on the Aam Aadmi Party leader and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann for not providing relief to the farmers even in his constituency Sangrur.

Earlier in the day, the Punjab Chief Minister lashed out at the centre for not paying heed to his recommendations on stubble burning issue and also blaming Punjab solely for the situation.

“We gave recommendations to Centre but they didn’t pay heed to them. Why are questions being raised only about Delhi & Punjab? Several cities of Haryana and Rajasthan are also reporting poor AQI, why isn’t the Centre raising questions on these states?” Mann said in a video message in his tweet which was also shared by Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal.

In subsequent tweets, Bhupendra Yadav, responding to Mann, said: “Scam is where AAP is. In the last 5 years, the Central Government gave Rs 1,347 crore for crop residue management machines to Punjab. The state bought 1,20,000 machines. 11,275 of those machines have gone missing. Money utilisation shows clear incompetence.

“Last year, Rs 212 crore were left unspent. This year, the Central Govt gave Punjab Rs 280 crore for crop residue management machines. So about Rs 492 crore was available but the state govt chose to sit with the funds forcing helpless farmers to burn the crop residue”.

“The Chief Minister of Punjab has failed to even provide relief to farmers in his own turf of Sangrur. Last year (Sept 15-Nov 2) farm fires in Sangrur stood at 1,266. This year they have shot up by 139% rising to 3,025”.

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