Stubble fire: Bio-decomposer solution to be prepared from Sept 24, says Gopal Rai
Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Monday said that the government is set to prepare a bio-decomposer solution to be sprayed on paddy fields to organically decompose stubble. The process will begin on September 24 and the solution will be sprayed across fields by October 5, said Rai.
“Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will initiate the process of preparing the bio-decomposer solution in Delhi on September 24. We will spray the solution for free across Delhi’s farmlands by October 5. This will give enough time to farmers to sow the next crop,” Rai said during a press conference.
The solution will be prepared by the horticulture department nursery in Najafgarh’s Kharkhari Nahar. So far the agriculture department has estimated that about 4,000 acres of farmland need to be sprayed. “This is double the demand from the previous year. In case the demand increases, we are prepared to take care of it as well. Most of the paddy farming takes place in northwest and south Delhi,” Rai said.
While Delhi farmers burn just about 1% stubble, smoke from stubble burning in neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana is a major contributor to Delhi’s winter pollution.
Last, year, the Delhi government tied up with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), Pusa, which developed a decomposer capsule that could be converted into a liquid solution and sprayed on fields with crop stubble. The solution, once sprayed on the fields, decomposes the stubble into compost over 20 days, which can be used by farmers to treat the fields as well.
The minister also said that about 10 litres of spray are required for an acre of land. For this, four capsules are needed. “Around ₹25 lakh were spent last year in the process all over Delhi last year. Now that the area has doubled, the cost will also double, but it is extremely cost-effective as a solution to curb air pollution,” said Rai.
Last year, the Delhi government set up a centralised plant for the large-scale production of the solution at the Kharkhari Nahar village.
He added that the entire process of preparation of the solution will be monitored by the scientists and experts of IARI Pusa. A 25-member committee formed by the government will look after the implementation of the solution across farmlands in the city. “They will reach out to farmers to take stock of the size of their land. All the farmers have to do is fill up forms to inform us about to the date and size of their field and we will reach them,” he said.