Punjab Governor V.P. Singh Badnore on Friday said it was important that farmers were given the option to adopt alternative practices to ensure proper disposal of paddy residue instead of resorting to stubble burning.Expressing concern over the environmental hazards caused by the practice, Mr. Badnore said stubble burning was not only damaging the health of people but was also causing loss of organic components in soil.“There is a need to promote horticulture, cultivation of fruits and mushrooms in a big way to break the usual paddy-wheat crop cycle in Punjab,” he said at a workshop here on stakeholders’ initiative to address crop residue burning in the State.Mr. Badnore called for formulating a comprehensive strategy, including generating mass awareness among farmers, and providing available technologies at affordable prices.“I appreciate the progressive approach of the Punjab farmers and their in-depth knowledge about the latest farming techniques. Incentives must be given to farmers who have already adopted other alternatives and are not burning straw,” he said.Suresh Kumar, Chief Principal Secretary to the Punjab Chief Minister, said the government will constitute a State-level advisory group to formulate some immediate action plan to check stubble burning in the State.“I urge experts to work towards reducing the silica content in straw and making it fit for animal consumption. States like Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, where there is a shortage of animal fodder, could be given the fodder at lower prices,” he added.
Hyderabad: The restrictions imposed in Jammu and Kashmir in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 are being lifted gradually and the situation should be normal within a week, Union Minister of State for Home G Kishan Reddy said on Saturday. Precautionary measures were being taken in view of provocative statements and others coming from Pakistan, he said. Kashmir situation is normal. Day to day, the situation is improving, because we are taking all precautionary measures. From the Pakistan side, provoking statements are being made every day…” he told PTI here on the sidelines of an event. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details Asked about the situation in J and K, Kishan Reddy said educational institutions would be re-opened from Monday and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC were being lifted, except in some districts. “The situation is under control. I think it will be normal within a week,” he said. Asked about detention of political leaders in the state, Reddy said the Congress government had detained leaders of National Conference and JKLF for months together in the past and that it was not happening for the first time. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The leaders had been detained for their safety, as part of the precautionary measures, he said. In Jammu and Kashmir, (for) months, Congress government (they) detained the National Conference leaders, JKLF leaders. It is not first time. For their safety, we detained them, (as part of) precautionary measures, he said. Reddy, who was speaking at the inauguration of 21st Annual YMCA Kargil Victory Sports Festival, appreciated the YMCA, Greater Hyderabad, for organising the event in memory of Kargil victory and the martyrs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi put the responsibility of development of Kargil in his hands, he said. Low-speed (2G) mobile internet services have been restored in five districts of Jammu region after remaining suspended for a fortnight, officials said on Saturday. The mobile internet services were snapped across Jammu region on August 4, a day before the Centre abrogated provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir and divided the state into two union territories — Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Curfew-like restrictions were in place across the state hours before the move but were subsequently eased, with normal activities in Jammu, Kathua, Sabma, Udhampur and Reasi returning on August 10 after the district magistrates announced lifting of prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC. The abrogation of the provisions of Article 370 of the Constitution in Jammu and Kashmir had put an end to the rule of two or three families and enabled the people of the state to join the mainstream and derive several benefits that they were being deprived of so far, Reddy had said. All sections of people in the country were in favour of the Centre’s decision and the government would make all efforts to take Jammu and Kashmir on the path of progress, the Minister had said.