Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann said that the state government is fully prepared for ensuring smooth and hassle free sowing of paddy crop during the upcoming Kharif season across the state.

In a statement issued here on Monday, the Chief Minister said that as per the suggestions received from the farmers during the two Government- farmers (Kisan Sarkar milni), the state government has decided to commence the sowing of paddy across the state in a phased manner. He said that the paddy sowing will commence from June 10, 16, 19 and 21 in various parts of the state. Bhagwant Mann said that the state has been divided in four zones to implement this sowing mechanism in an effective manner.

Divulging more details, the Chief Minister said that to ensure smooth irrigation for paddy cultivation in a staggered manner, in the first phase transplantation in the areas beyond the fence across international border will start from June 10, for which regular power supply will be ensured to farmers.

He said that uninterrupted power from June 16 will be ensured in the second phase to seven districts viz. Ferozepur, Faridkot, Pathankot, Sri Fatehgarh Sahib, Gurdaspur, SBS Nagar and Tarn Taran. Bhagwant Mann said that in third phase paddy transplantation will be ensured from June 19 in seven districts including Rupnagar, SAS Nagar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Fazilka, Bathinda and Amritsar whereas in remaining nine districts of Patiala, Jalandhar, Moga, Sri Muktsar Sahib, Hoshiarpur, Sangrur, Malerkotla, Barnala and Mansa paddy transplantation will commence from June 21.

He said that in order to save the precious groundwater of the state the power supply for Direct Sowing of Rice (DSR) technique will start from May 20 across the state. He said that the notification to this regard has been issued by the state government adding he exhorted the farmers to refrain from sowing paddy before these dates. Bhagwant Mann said that four hours power supply will be made available to the farmers for routine irrigation needs including paddy nursery transplantation and vegetables.

He said that a minimum eight hours of regular power supply will be ensured by all means. He said that elaborate arrangements have been made in this regard and no stone will be left unturned for this noble cause. Bhagwant Mann said that like previous year the farmers will get regular supply of water during the paddy season adding that the state government is having 45 days of coal stock with it to supply power to farmers.

He further said that in a bid to effectively check the fast depleting water table, the state government will promote Direct Seeding of Rice (DSR) technology in a big way during the current Kharif Season. He said that it is a high time to refrain from transplantation of PUSA variety of paddy and shifting to the eco friendly and economically viable DSR technique which will go a long way in saving the ground water upto 15 – 20% besides enhancing recharging the underground water by 10 – 15% and saving nearly Rs. 3000 per acre on input costs including labour. Bhagwant Mann said that the farmers opting for DSR technique will get an incentive worth Rs 1500 per acre from the state government adding that the farmers must adopt the PR varieties of paddy recommended by PAU.

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