Why Do Farmers in Punjab Continue to Burn Stubble?

Punjab govt claims it has helped wean 21 farmers away from stubble burning. Prove it, says the NGT. 

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We know it pollutes the air, but we don’t have any alternative and the government is not helping.

This is the chief argument of farmers in Punjab as they continue to burn paddy stubble – crop residue left after the rice-giving crop is harvested – across the state, unleashing more pollution towards the national capital.

Last year, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) pulled up the Punjab government over the issue and banned the burning. The state had already banned it in 2013, but hardly ever enforced it until last year. Till last week, the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB) reported 250 cases of burning of straw/stubble in three days.


After the Punjab government claimed it was supporting 21 farmers as a model to manage stubble in a sustainable manner, the NGT directed that the government bring those farmers before it on Friday, 13 October.

But what is it that drives farmers across the state to burn stubble? Click here to read the full story by Chandigarh-based journalist Harish C on The Quint.


Video Producer: Anmol Saini
Video Editor: Mohd Ibrahim

(Breathe In, Breathe Out: Are you finding it tough to breathe polluted air? Join hands with FIT in partnership with #MyRightToBreathe to find a solution to pollution. Send in your suggestions to or WhatsApp @ +919999008335)

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