State governments responsible for deterioration in air quality due to stubble burning: Delhi CM

The Chief Minister appealed to the Centre to make it mandatory for State governments to spray the bio-decomposer for free on agricultural land in their jurisdiction

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on September 13 appealed to the Centre to make the utilisation of the bio-decomposer solution developed in the Capital mandatory at agricultural fields in the national capital region (NCR) and northern Indian states.

The bio-decomposer is a solution created at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, which has the capability of converting crop residue into manure in 15 to 20 days making it a sustainable alternative to stubble burning.

“Last year, the Delhi government sprayed the bio-decomposer on agricultural land and the results were encouraging. Its effects were audited by an agency under the Centre and Delhi’s farmers attested to its effectiveness,” Mr. Kejriwal told a digital briefing.

“In the next day or two I will seek an appointment with the Union Environment Minister to discuss the findings of this report and request that he personally intervene in this matter to encourage states to use the bio-decomposer technique,” he added.

From around October 10 till the end of November, the air quality of Delhi deteriorates and a major reason for this, the Chief Minister said, was stubble burning in adjacent states.

Farmers, Mr. Kejriwal said, were blamed for setting fire to residual crop stubble when it was not their fault but that of State governments who did not present any alternative to stubble burning to affected farmers.

The Delhi government, he said, had made a submission to the Air Quality Commission under the Centre regarding the bio-decomposer. This, he added, was followed by a survey of around 90 farmers settled in over a dozen villages in four of Delhi’s districts who had attested to its effectiveness.

“We appeal to the Centre to make it mandatory for State governments to spray the bio-decomposer for free on agricultural land in their jurisdiction,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

“Earlier, there was no other option that farmers had than burning stubble but now this very cost-effective solution exists for the problem and must be utilised to avoid burning stubble and enriching the soil at the same time,” he added.

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