Stubble burning: Delhi CM Kejriwal accuses neighboring states of not taking action to help farmers

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday accused the neighboring state governments of not taking any action to support farmers on the issue of stubble burning, saying the air quality in the national capital would start deteriorating from mid-October. Delhi faces high levels of air pollution with the onset of winter, with paddy straw burning in fields in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh during this season.

The Delhi Chief Minister said that at present the air in Delhi is clean and the level of particulate matter is in the ‘good’ and ‘satisfactory’ categories. “Dell’s air quality will deteriorate from mid-October (stubble burning). State governments did not take action to support their farmers. In itself, the Dell air is clean. As on Sept 18- AQI- 69 (0 to 50 – Good, 51 to 100 – Satisfactory), PM10- 67, PM2.5 – 27 (0 to 30 Good, 31 to 60 Satisfactory),” tweeted Kejriwal. Delhi Govt. pressure to adopt Pusa Bio Decomposer, a microbial solution that can reportedly convert stubble into manure, urges the Center to ask neighboring states to distribute it free of cost among farmers.

Earlier this week, Kejriwal had said that a third-party survey by central government agency WAPCOS has found that the use of bio-decomposer is effective in getting rid of stubble, thereby preventing burning by farmers. He had also said that he would meet the Union Environment Minister to push for the use of bio-decomposer in the neighboring states of Delhi.

He had said that the Delhi government had last year distributed bio-decomposer to be used by farmers on 1,935 acres of agricultural land in 39 villages free of cost. The survey conducted by WAPCOS on the use of Bio Decomposer has yielded very encouraging results. He had said that ninety percent of the farmers who claimed to have used it claimed that the stubble was converted into manure in 15-20 days. The Delhi government recently submitted the audit report of Pusa Bio-Decomposer to the Centre’s Air Quality Management Commission (CAQM) and urged it to implement the measure in the states around the capital. The Delhi government has also banned the storage, sale, purchase and use of firecrackers in view of the high air pollution levels during the Diwali festival. Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Friday directed private agencies engaged in construction work in the city to follow norms to check dust pollution within 15 days.

He had said that the Delhi government would take strict action against private agencies not adhering to the norms as per the Winter Action Plan.

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