Stubble burning: Audit by central agency shows Pusa bio-decomposer highly effective, says Kejriwal

  • | Monday | 13th September, 2021

New Delhi, Sep 13 (PTI) An audit by a central agency has found the use of Pusa bio-decomposer, a microbial solution for stubble management, highly effective, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Monday, and urged the Centre to ask neighbouring states to distribute it for free among farmers.The Delhi government had experimented with the solution, prepared by scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute here last year and, had also got a survey done by the Development Department to ascertain its effectiveness.Farmers in 39 villages had used the bio-decomposer on 1,935 acres of land to convert stubble into manure, he said."The results were encouraging. We approached the Centre"s Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) with the survey report so it can be implemented in other states as well. The commission asked us to get an audit conducted by a third party," Kejriwal said at an online press conference.The city government engaged WAPCOS, a consultancy firm of the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, to conduct the audit.The agency included 79 farmers of 15 villages in four districts in the survey."The central agency has clearly stated in its report that the farmers in Delhi are happy with the use of the bio-decomposer. The results are very encouraging," Kejriwal said.Ninety per cent of the farmers claimed that the solution turned stubble into manure in 15-20 days. Also, the content of carbon in the soil increased by 40 per cent, nitrogen 24 per cent, bacteria seven times and fungi three times. Sprouting of wheat also increased by 17-20 per cent due to improved soil fertility, the chief minister said."Around 50 percent of the farmers acknowledged that the use of the bio-decomposer reduced the consumption of Diammonium Phosphate, a fertilizer, from 46 kg per acre to around 40 kg per acre and the wheat production increased by 8 percent," he said.  The chief minister said stubble burning in neighbouring states in October is a major factor behind the high level of air pollution in Delhi, but "farmers are not at fault"."Governments are at fault because they had to offer a solution and they could not provide one," Kejriwal said, adding Delhi has the answer to the problem."We appeal to the Centre to ask the states to distribute the bio-decomposer free of cost among farmers to stop them from burning stubble," he said.Kejriwal said he would call on the Union environment minister with the audit report and request his personal intervention in the matter.Former Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar had last year said Pusa bio-decomposer will be tried out in some areas of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, and if the technique is found successful, it will be expanded to more areas.Farmers say there is a small window of 10-15 days between paddy harvesting and sowing of wheat and they burn stubble as it is a cheap and time-saving method to manage the straw and prepare their field for the next crop.Last year, the share of stubble burning in Delhi"s PM2.5 pollution had risen to 40 per cent on November 1. PTI GVS VIT TDS TDS

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