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Stubble Burning: Delhi CM Charges Neighboring States of Not Supporting Farmers

Ayushi Raina
Ayushi Raina
CM Arvind Kejriwal

On Saturday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal charged neighbouring state governments of not taking any action to support farmers with stubble burning claiming that air quality in the national capital will deteriorate in mid-October.

With the arrival of winter and the season coinciding with paddy straw burning (Parali) in the fields of Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh and Delhi is subjected to severe levels of air pollution.

The air in Delhi is currently clean with particulate matter levels in the ‘good' and ‘satisfactory' categories according to the Delhi chief minister. “Beginning in mid-October, the air quality in Del will worsen (stubble burning). State governments have not taken any action done to help their farmers. Del air is pure on its own. On the 18th of September-AQI-69 (0 to 50 indicating good, 51 to 100 indicating satisfactory), PM10-67 and PM2.5-27 (0 to 30 indicating good, 31 to 60 indicating satisfactory)," Kejriwal tweeted.

The Delhi government has been asking the Centre to persuade neighbouring states to provide Pusa bio-decomposer, a microbial solution that can purportedly transform stubble into manure, for free to farmers.

Earlier this week, Kejriwal claimed that a third-party survey conducted by the central government agency WAPCOS found that using bio-decomposers is effective in removing stubble and preventing farmers from burning it. He also stated that he will meet with the Union Environment Minister to push for the usage of bio-decomposers in Delhi's neighbouring states.

Last year, the Delhi government gave free bio-decomposers to farmers who utilized them to turn stubble into manure on 1,935 acres of farmland in 39 villages, he added. The results of the WAPCOS survey on the utilization of the bio-decomposer are extremely positive. He stated that 90% of farmers who utilized it said that stubble was converted to manure in 15- 20 days. The Delhi government recently sent the Pusa bio-decomposer audit report to the Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) at the Centre, urging it to implement the measure in the states surrounding the capital.

Due to the high levels of air pollution during the Diwali celebration, the Delhi government has now banned the storage, sale, purchase, and usage of firecrackers. Gopal Rai, the Delhi Environment Minister, issued a directive on Friday to private construction companies working in the city to adhere to strict guidelines in order to reduce dust pollution within 15 days.

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