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Delhi govt set to counter stubble burning by using freshly minted bio-decomposer

Stubble burning--a major cause for air pollution

As the harvest season in India’s northern region including Delhi and the national capital region leads to severe pollution and deterioration in the air quality, the Delhi government this year has decided to spray Pusa bio-decomposer—a microbial solution that can prevent burning of stubble and turn it into manure.

The initiative will start from October 5 in a bid to prevent stubble burning.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that the rise in pollution levels due to stubble burning is due to the neighbouring state governments not taking suitable action to resolve the issue.

Every year farmers in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh burn their paddy straw in the fields. This has become an environmental hazard.

Also read: Punjab appoints 8,500 nodal officers to monitor stubble burning

According to The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the problem of poor air quality is exacerbated in the already disadvantageous landlocked Delhi, where pollutants get trapped, unlike in coastal cities where they are swept out to sea.

TERI also said that the cost of air pollution due to stubble burning in India is estimated to be $30 billion annually.

TERI said that the approach to resolve the issue of stubble burning must be multi-disciplinary and multi-agency involving technical knowhow, market-based economic tools, while supporting agricultural and environmental policies. Awareness and capacity building for farmers will also be key.

Industry sources have also said that the issue of pollution needs to be addressed at the earliest if India wants to become a hub for global investors.