New Delhi: With reports of water table going down in Punjab and Haryana considered as "rice bowl of India", experts feel cultivation of the staple grain which requires good amount of water could be shifted to Eastern states having favourable condition.
Ashok Gulati, Chairman, Agriculture Costs & Prices Commission said water table is going down by roughly 33 cm every year in Punjab, the cradle of green revolution of 70s.
Gulati, while addressing an Agricultural Summit here last week, suggested shifting cultivation of rice from traditional belt of Punjab and Haryana that are facing water depletion due to excessive usage, to Eastern states like Bihar and Eastern Uttar Pradesh having good water availability.
Noted environmentalist R K Pachauri also expressed concern over depletion of water resources and supported the view to encourage rice cultivation in the Eastern states in the circumstances.
Pachauri, Director General of Tata Energy Research Institute (TERI), while speaking at the same function, favoured creation of buffer stock of water in the country to deal with the crisis triggered by the phenomenon of climate change.
Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh are the leading producers of rice in the country.
The union government through "Initiative of Bringing Green Revolution to Eastern India (BGREI)" has made an attempt to increase rice production in the eastern states. It has enhanced allotment under the special scheme that aims to bring second green revolution in the country to Rs 1000 crore in 2012-13 from Rs 400 crore in 2011-12.
Darveshpura village in Bihar's Nalanda district has created a world record by producing 224 quintals of paddy per hectare using the rice intensification method system.
First Published: Sunday, September 23, 2012, 12:50