Stubble burning: Delhi Minister Gopal Rai says new tech can reduce smog
Farmers claim that setting their fields on fire is the only economically viable solution to clear stubble before the sowing season starts.
NEW DELHI: To find an effective solution to the problem of air pollution levels during winters, mainly due to stubble burning, the Delhi government said it will talk to its neighbouring state governments to promote ways of turning stubble into manure by decomposing method rather than burning them and causing pollution.
Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Wednesday witnessed a demonstration of a bio-decomposer developed by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute to convert crop stubble into manure and said if successful, it will help reduce air pollution.
He said he will discuss the technique, which involves spraying the decomposer on crop stubble, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and later a work plan will be developed for its implementation.
Every year, Delhi’s air quality plummets as farmers in the national capital and neighbouring states burn agricultural stubble to clear their fields before the onset of winter to sow the next crop.
Farmers claim that setting their fields on fire is the only economically viable solution to clear stubble before the sowing season starts. Rai said the Delhi government will provide the bio-decomposer to farmers free of cost. “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 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,” he said.