Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal will initiate the process of preparing the bio-decomposer solution in Delhi on September 24. The solution will be prepared fully by October 5. The Kejriwal Government will spray the solution for free all over Delhi’s farmlands to prevent stubble burning. Environment Minister Shri Gopal Rai on Monday informed that the Union Environment Minister had still not given time to him and the CM for a meeting and appealed to him to take cognisance of the grave issue. He said that stubble burning smoke engulfs the entire North Indian region and if the states don’t act fast, they will not be able to implement the bio-decomposer solution in time. He informed that the Kejriwal Government is fully prepared with its mechanism to spray the bio-decomposer and the farmers just need to fill a form to get the spraying done. He said that the entire process in Delhi will be monitored by the scientists and experts of the Pusa Institute and Agriculture Department. A 25 member committee of the Delhi Government will look after the implementation of the solution in Delhi.

Shri Gopal Rai said, “The Kejriwal Government is working round-the-clock to bring Delhi freedom from the widespread problem of air pollution. The Delhi Government is constantly holding meetings with various concerned departments to work on the Winter Action Plan. We are certain that we will finalise the Winter Action Plan by the 30th of September. The plan would be then presented in front of Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal. Post discussion with the CM, the  plan would be brought forth to the people of Delhi.”

The Environment Minister said, “As we all know, stubble burning pollution contributes immensely to the pollution levels in winter. The smoke generated during stubble burning engulfs the entire region as if it is a blanket and affects the whole of North India too. The impact of pollution rises exponentially because of it. Till now to deal with it, a hoard of laws were brought forth and charges were filed against poor farmers. States even tried to penalise farmers. But all of this had no point. It couldn’t solve the problem. Last year, along with the Pusa Institute, the Kejriwal Government developed a unique bio-decomposer. We tested the solution by spraying it over the stubble on the farmlands of Delhi. The entire test gave out a very positive response. We presented a holistic report on the performance of the bio-decomposer to the Commission For Air Quality Management. They asked us to get a third-party audit done on it. We got the third party audit done through an agency of the Centre. They too, heaped praises of the solution in their report. Their report states that not only is the bio-decomposer an effective solution to curb stubble burning pollution, it also enhances the quality of the soil. We have submitted their report to the Commission For Air Quality Management.”

“Last time when we were preparing to spray the bio-decomposer on stubble, several farmers told us that the preparations should’ve started a while earlier so that they can sow the next crop on time. Last time, we began preparing the spray solution on October 5. This time, the Kejriwal Government will start preparing the solution on September 24 itself. Chief Minister Shri Arvind Kejriwal will initiate the process. Like last year, the solution will be prepared at the Horticulture Department Nursery in Kharkhari Nahar. The preparations will take place centrally at this location and by the 29th of September we will double the quantity of the solution. By 5th October, the bio-decomposer will be ready to be sprayed. We will provide the spray from this location to wherever it is required in Delhi. Last time, the process started on 5th October, this time it will be completed by then. The spray will then be readily available for the farmers. Last year, the bio-decomposer was sprayed on almost 2,000 acres of farmlands of non-basmati paddy crop cut by harvesters. During the audit, the farmers reached out to us asking for the solution to be implemented over the harvester cut basmati paddy crop as well. So this year it has been decided that irrespective of the paddy being basmati or non basmati, if the crop has been cut using harvesters and there is stubble leftover in the fields – the Kejriwal Government will spray the bio-decomposer solution over the farm for free,” he said.

“A 25 member committee has been formed for the purpose. They will reach out to farmers to take stock of the size of their lands and the date on which they’d require the spraying to be done. So far the Agriculture Department has estimated that about 4,000 acres of farmlands would need the spray. This is double the demand from the previous year. In case the demand increases, we are prepared to take care of it as well. All the farmers have to do is get the form filled up to inform us as to the date and size of their field and we will reach them,” he added.

“Most of the paddy farming takes place in North-West and South Delhi, so these areas will be specially taken care of. The spraying will be done using tractor sprays. Like last year, the entire process will be monitored by the scientists of the Pusa Institute and the experts of the Agriculture Department,” he added.

“About 10 litres of spray is required for an acre of land. For this much spray 4 capsules developed by the Pusa Institute are needed. The capsules are mixed with 250 gram Jaggery(gud),150 gram Gram Flour(besan). The mixture is then cooked and stored for 5 days after which the quantity of the solution is doubled. About 25 lacs were spent last year in the process all over Delhi last year. Now that the area has doubled, the cost will also double but it is extremely cost-effective as a  solution to curb air-pollution,” he said. 

“We have requested the Union Environment Minister to meet with us but he hasn’t yet given us time to meet so I would like to request him to take cognisance of the matter. This is a very grave issue and if the Centre does not act on it then it will get very late in implementing the solution. A meeting needs to be called immediately on this matter to ensure the system is adopted in time and the mechanisms are finalised. They need to understand this to be an emergency and take action on it,” he concluded.

(EW correspondent)