News18»India
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As Winter 'Pollution' Months Approach, Kejriwal Seeks Use of 'Decomposer Capsules' to Curb Stubble Burning

For representation.

For representation.

Scientists at Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Pusa have developed "decomposer capsules". Four capsules, some jiggery and chickpea flour are enough to prepare 25 litres of solution, which is sufficient to cover one hectare of land.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said he will urge Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar to ask neighbouring states to implement a low-cost technology developed by Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) in Pusa here to manage crop residue. Scientists at the institute have developed "decomposer capsules". Four capsules, some jiggery and chickpea flour are enough to prepare 25 litres of solution, which is sufficient to cover one hectare of land.

This solution can be sprayed on stubble. The crop residue softens and decomposes in around 20 days. It decreases the use of fertilizer and increases the soil fertility, Kejriwal said. "I will meet the Union Environment Minister in a day or two to discuss this and I will request him to speak to the neighbouring states to take all measures to effectively implement it despite lack of time. We will surely implement this technique in a very efficient and effective manner in Delhi," he said.

This is the result of many years of hard work and efforts of our scientists, and they have got the validation after pilot testing and projection. They have also given their technique a licence for commercial exploitation, the chief minister said. Asked why there is no action on stubble burning throughout the year, Kejriwal said, "I agree that no major efforts have been made the whole year, but I don't want to blame anyone. The central government is also trying its best. It has held meetings, initiated new schemes and given subsidies on new machinery." Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh attract attention during the paddy harvesting season between October 15 and November 15.

Farmers set their fields on fire to quickly clear off the crop residue before cultivating wheat and potato. It is one of the main reasons for the alarming spike in pollution in Delhi-NCR. Last year, Punjab produced around 20 million tonnes paddy residue. Farmers burnt 9.8 million tonnes of it.

Farmers in Haryana burnt 1.23 million tonnes out of the7 million tonnes of paddy residue produced. Despite a ban on stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana, farmers continue to defy it as there is a short window between harvesting of paddy and sowing of wheat.

The high cost of manual or mechanical management of straw is a major reason why farmers choose to burn it. State governments are providing 50 to 80 per cent subsidy to farmers and cooperative societies to buy modern farm equipment for in-situ management of paddy straw, installing paddy straw-based power plants and running a massive awareness campaign against stubble burning.

But these measures are yet to make any significant impact on the ground.


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