By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: June 9, 2020 11:59:09 pm
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar. (File)
Days after a tractor march by farmers of Fatehabad district against restrictions on paddy cultivation, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar Tuesday went to meet the farmers of its Ratia block, which was epicenter of the agitation.
The chief minister met the farmers at a time when the Opposition is trying to take on the government raising issues related to cultivation of paddy.
The protests by farmers and Opposition had prompted the government to relax certain conditions on paddy cultivation. On the other hand, the Haryana government claims that it’s just trying to save water for future generations by introducing various schemes. In Ratia, the Chief Minister said that the groundwater level has gone down below 200 metres in some areas of the state in the past 12 years.
“The government has introduced ‘mera pani- meri virasat’ scheme to improve the ground water under which the farmers are being encouraged to sow crops other than of paddy,” said the Chief Minister while speaking to the progressive farmers. He also took suggestions of the farmers on the issue. “As much as 4,000 to 5,000 litre water is required to produce just one kg rice. The past governments did not give attention towards this issue which has led to ground water level going below 200 metres at many places,” he added.
Till now, according to the chief minister, as many as 42,000 farmers have got registered themselves to sow alternative crops in place of paddy in 55,000 hectare under the scheme of the state government. The government offers Rs 7,000 per acre to such farmers. The chief minister said if any farmer sows maize in place of paddy, the government would ensure its procurement. “The government has enhanced the minimum support price of maize to Rs 1,850 per quintal in place of previous Rs 1,760 per quintal which will ensure a profit of Rs 10,500 per acre to the farmers,” he added.
The chief minister said that the government would install 100 recharge borewells in each of the three blocks; Ratia, Shahbad and Guhla, which face problem of depleting water level. According to the chief minister, each recharge borewell will improve water level in 10 acres. “The farmers may install recharge borewell at their farms too and the government would offer grant for the same. In next one or two days, the government will make a detailed announcement in this regard,” added Khattar.
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