RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday said conversion of stubble to fertilisers can be a permanent solution to the problem of pollution like the one being witnessed in the Delhi Capital Region.
Stubble burning in areas in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh over the past few days has led to severe deterioration in the air quality in Delhi.
Talking to reporters here, Baghel urged the Centre to link MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme) with agriculture so that the processing of stubble into fertiliser could be done by roping in farmers in this employment generation scheme.
"Every year in the month of September-October, nearly 35 million tonnes of stubble is burnt in Punjab and Haryana despite farmers being aware that this adversely affects land fertility and causes severe air pollution," he said.
He said stubble was being burnt as farmers, firstly, wanted to cultivate wheat immediately after paddy, and secondly, because a cheaper way to dispose it was unavailable, Baghel added.
He said stubble is an important raw material which can be utilised for making organic fertilisers and the Centre should takesteps in this direction.
"If the Centre gives instructions under MNREGA that stubble should be converted into organic fertilisers instead of being burnt, it would ensure production of a large quantity of organic manure but also prevent pollution.
A total of 100 kilogrammes of stubble can yield nearly 60 kgs of pure organic fertiliser," he said.
This means nearly 35 million tonnes of stubble can be converted into 2.10 crore tonnes of organic fertiliser, he added.
"I had earlier requested the Centre, during a NITI Aayog meeting, to link MNREGA with agriculture but did not get any response," said.
Baghel requested the Supreme Court to constitute a committee of four, comprising an agriculture scientist, an environmentalist, an economist and a farmers' representative, for the assessment of this idea, and then issue a directive in this regard.
The CM said his government in Chhattisgarh had already started the process of converting paddy straw into fertiliser in 2000 cowsheds in the state.