Environment minister assess bio-decomposer method as a solution to stubble burningUpdated: Sep 16, 2020 23:37 IST
Delhi environment minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday inspected the functioning of a ‘bio-decomposer’ developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, which will help convert crop stubble into manure.
The bio-decomposer , if successfully tested, could turn out to be a viable solution for Delhi’s winter pollution problem, which is worsened by crop stubble burning from neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, Rai said.
Rai, who met with scientists of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute to understand this method, said he will discuss the technique, which involves spraying the decomposer liquid on crop stubble, with chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to work out a plan for its implementation.
Every year between October 15 and October 30, the national capital faces the threat of plummeting air quality as a result of thick smoke blowing in from neighbouring states, where farmers set fire to their fields to get rid of the crop stubble .
“Punjab produces 20 million tonnes of crop stubble, out of which 9 million tonnes was burnt last year. In Haryana, 1.23 million tonnes, out of the 7 million tonnes of crop produce, was burnt,” Rai said, quoting data submitted by the state pollution control boards.
Data shows that last year, stubble burning accounted for 44% of Delhi’s air pollution.
Rai said the Delhi government will provide the bio-decomposer to farmers free of cost and will also hold meetings with the governments of Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to reach out to farmers in their respective states to adopt this method. Rai said the Delhi government will also write to the Union environment ministry for coordination in implementing the bio-decomposer technique.
“The cost of spraying the decomposer in fields will be borne by the Delhi government so that there is no financial burden on the farmers and an effective solution to the problem of stubble burning can be developed,” he said.
The minister also said the Central government has devised a scheme, under which subsidy is provided to farmers for using machines to clear crop stubble.
“I believe that the money spent on the purchase of machines and the subsidy can be used for the decomposition of stubble in these states. If successful, the technique will reduce smoke and air pollution, which becomes a prominent cause of Delhi’s deteriorating air quality every winter,” he said.
An official of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute said it has received an advance order from the Uttar Pradesh government to demonstrate the technique on 25,000 hectares of land.
He said around 10 companies are manufacturing the institute’s bio-decomposer on a large scale.