As the harvesting of paddy crop starts in Punjab, the cases of stubble burning are also on the rise. The union government had recently announced that it has released funds to the tune of more than 1100 crore to the states in the last two years to ensure that farmers refrain from burning the paddy stubble. While on Monday, Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh met a group of progressive farmers and appealed the farming community to avoid stubble burning, farmers continue to burn the crop residue only to worsen the air quality index of the state and the neighbouring region. "We cannot afford expensive machinery nor do we have enough finances to run the machinery even if it is offered at a subsidized rate. Burning paddy stubble is our compulsion, though our own village has suffered a lot due to the ill effects of burning crop residue," said Jaspal Singh of Niamia village in Mohali district of Punjab. The farmers demand that the government should provide cash incentive at the rate of '3000 per acre so that the farmers manage the stubble on their own. "Most of the farmers cant afford expensive machinery. And even if farmers can pool money to hire these machinery, the cost of fuel will only add the financial burden. If the government provides us cash incentive then either we can bear the operational cost of the machines or labourers can be engaged to uproot the paddy stubble after the harvesting," said Jaspal who does farming on five acres of land.