NEW DELHI: Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Tuesday urged the Centre's newly-constituted air quality management commission to consider spraying the Pusa bio-decomposer in the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, UP and Rajasthan to tackle the problem of stubble burning.
During a press conference here, Rai said that a 15-member impact assessment committee has ascertained the effectiveness of the Pusa bio-decomposer solution in reducing stubble burning in the capital and it was submitted to the Environment Ministry's Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas on Monday.
He said the commission was informed that the bio-decomposer used in 2000 acre land in the capital turned 90-95 per cent crop residue into manure in 15-20 days.
"Stubble burning has contributed to escalation of COVID-19 cases in last 15 days as it has made Delhi's air more poisonous. We need to find a permanent solution to this problem as we cannot put more lives in danger. We urge the air quality commission to get the Pusa biodecomposer sprayed in the states of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan considering its success in Delhi," Rai said.
He said that government could do so at half the cost of providing subsidy to farmers.
"In last many years, government has been spending money in providing subsidy to farmers to procure machines to cut crop residue. But farmers still have to spend a lot of money from their pocket which is why they resort to burning the crop residue. In half the amount being spent on machines, government can get the biodecomposer sprayed in the neighbouring states without farmers having to spend anything," he said.
According to scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, the solution can turn crop residue into manure in 15-20 days and can prevent stubble burning.