SC asks Center to look into Punjab’s proposal to do away with paddy seeds, encourage cultivation of traditional crops for healthy air and groundwater.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the Center must seriously consider the Punjab government’s proposal to eliminate rice cultivation in the state and encourage farmers to switch to traditional crops like millet by giving them a minimum support price (MSP)  to succeed. paddy bed burning and reviving the drastically low water table of the state. Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia said that Punjab cannot go from a barn to a virtual desert. “Punjab is witnessing a scenario where the growth of rice crops leads to a drastic decrease in groundwater. Several wells have exceeded their redemption capacity. Even paddy is not consumed in Punjab. According to his (Punjab Advocate General’s) suggestion,  we rightly believe that paddy cultivation should be stopped and replaced by other crops. The Center should look into the aspect of giving MSP to alternative crops,” the Supreme Court said in its order.  

Gurminder Singh, Attorney General of Punjab, said that 31,000 acres of paddy was cultivated in the state and it was not even an indigenous crop of Punjab. “The Center has brought Paddy under the Food Security Act for use in the public distribution system. Punjab has been given incentives to cultivate paddy fields. Farmers found it profitable… But now we have to dig 700-1000 meters to find drinking water”, 

 MSP unshelled

    “Supposedly an MSP Irishman from Punjab is banned?” asked Judge Kaul.  “So it is an absolute one-day solution.  Farmers are switching to other crops like millet and bajra. We have to diversify our crops. Plan a marine area for these alternative crops to encourage farmers. There is no point in arresting marginal farmers for burning beds in Punjab, And we don’t want to shift the responsibility for pollution to other states, we want to be part of a progressive solution. said Singh.  He said that it is not that the marginal farmers of Punjab do not want to use technology to clean the beds, but find the machinery provided with central funds too expensive even after the 50 percent subsidy. Justice Kaul said  MSP on paddy has also led to smuggling of the crop from other states into Punjab. “Rice grown in neighboring states is being illegally imported into Punjab to get MSP”.

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