No End to Electricity Crisis, Punjab Government Notifies District Level Paddy Transplantation Date


The Punjab Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Department on Friday notified various dates for sowing paddy in different districts of the state in view of the current power crisis which has often resulted in power outages for hours in large swathes of Punjab.

Rice farmers need at least 8 hours of power supply per day to run their tubewells daily to water their crops. A schedule for supplying electricity to the various districts has been discussed accordingly.

Friday’s notification (a copy of which is with The Indian Express) relied on the powers conferred on the state by subsections (1) and (2) of Section 3 of the Preservation Act 2009 Punjab Groundwater (Punjab Act No. 6 of 2009), to fix the dates when farmers could sow paddy.

In accordance with the notification – which was issued by the Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare – most of the Malwa region will have early planting dates as it will grow the longer lasting variants of the paddy.
According to the details, for the Direct Seeding Rice (DSR) technique, the entire state can transplant paddy from May 20. Transplanting will start from June 18 this year, compared to June 10, which was the date for transplanting paddy in the state for the past two years.

Transplantation in Sangrur, Barnala, Malerkotla, Ludhiana, Patiala, Sri Fatehgarh Sahib districts will take place from June 18, while transplantation in Bathinda, Mansa, Moga, Faridkot, Ferozpur, Fazilka districts will start from June 18. June 22. Transplantation in Mohali, Ropar, SBS Nagar, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Sri Muktsar Sahib will start from June 24th and Transplantation in Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Tarn Taran will be from June 26th.

As a result, the power supply schedule for sowing paddy using the DSR technique, farmers across the state will enjoy 8 hours of uninterrupted power every other day between May 20 and May 31.

Farmers who opt for normal irrigation will benefit from a 3-hour power supply from May 31 to June 17. Similarly, districts that transplant paddy on June 18 will be provided with 8-hour power supply for 6/7 days until the crop matures. Districts transplanting paddy on June 22, 24 and 26 will also receive eight hours of supply for 6-7 days from their respective transplant dates until the crop matures.

Punjab Department of Agriculture Director Dr. Gurvinder Singh told The Indian Express that farmers usually start sowing DSR in the month of May only. “The dates have been set so that we can save both water and electricity while meeting the needs of the paddy harvest. the goal is to conserve our groundwater by setting the transplant date close to the rainy season,” Dr Singh said.

Sources said the government held several meetings with various farmers’ organizations before determining the dates for paddy sowing and transplanting.

Experts from Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) have already recommended that paddy should be transplanted after June 25
this year as the monsoon comes to the state in late June and sowing paddy then can help save groundwater.
PAU has already introduced several short paddy varieties, including PR 126, which matures in 120 days.
Farmers are traditionally opposed to the idea of ​​late transplanting their paddy crops as they claim it does not give them enough time to manage the stubble.

Jagmohan Singh (Dakaunda), Secretary General of the Bharti Kisan-Dakaunda Union, said the government had failed to deal with the electricity crisis and had been caught on the wrong foot, forcing them to issue such notifications which might not be practical.

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