To curb fires, Pun­jab may im­pound 3,000 har­vesters

No Room For Non-Com­pli­ant Ma­chines

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City -

com­bines are trac­tor-driven of up to 65 horse­power ca­pac­ity where fix­ing of th­ese sys­tems is not ad­vis­able as the ma­chines are not ca­pa­ble of bear­ing the ex­tra load.

The SMS ma­chine costs Rs 1.1 lakh and the state gov­ern­ment of­fers 50% sub­sidy, re­duc­ing the price to Rs vest­ing is done through ma­chines with some por­tion still har­vested man­u­ally.

How­ever, most of the own­ers of old com­bines are not ready to fix the de­vice. They claim that by in­stalling the sys­tem, the load on the en­gine will in­crease. This, in turn, will in­crease fuel con­sump­tion by nearly 15% and the farm­ers who hire com­bines for har­vest­ing are not ready to pay more.

“Even after fit­ting su­per SMS to com­bines, the is­sue will not be fully solved as it is not fi­nan­cially vi­able — farm­ers are not ready to pay more for avail­ing the ser­vices. Un­der such cir­cum­stances, we are un­able to spend money on the de­vice which will not work prop­erly. We will not fit this and will run the ma­chines with­out SMS and if any­one tries to stop us from run­ning com­bines, we will plan our strat­egy,” said an owner of a com­bine harvester in Bathinda, who did not want to be named.

Farm or­gan­i­sa­tion BKU Ekta Ugra­han gen­eral sec­re­tary Sukhdev Singh Kokri said fit­ting the sys­tem is not a per­ma­nent so­lu­tion to the vexed prob­lem. “We will not al­low any of­fi­cial to im­pound com­bines with­out SMS and if any­one goes ahead we will lay siege to the of­fi­cials,” he said. If the state gov­ern­ment is se­ri­ous about solv­ing the prob­lem, it should pro­vide bonus of Rs 200 per quin­tal on paddy or com­pen­sa­tion of Rs 6,000 per acre and farm­ers will make al­ter­nate ar­range­ments and not burn stub­ble, he added.

Man­mo­han Kalia, the state’s nodal of­fi­cer for fit­ting SMS on com­bines, said many own­ers were com­ing for­ward to get su­per SMS fit­ted to their ma­chines. “We hope nearly 6,000 com­bines will be fit­ted dur­ing this sea­son as the state gov­ern­ment is pro­vid­ing lucrative sub­sidy. Only a few com­bine own­ers are not ready for it,” he said.

Not many farm­ers are ready to get SMS fit­ted on their com­bines and many of those who pur­chase new com­bines also do not want the de­vice, ac­cord­ing to com­bines man­u­fac­tur­ers’ as­so­ci­a­tion gen­eral sec­re­tary Amar Singh.

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