New Delhi: To curb the stubble burning, the Environment Minister Gopal Rai on Monday said that the Delhi government will start preparing its Pusa bio-decomposer, from September 24 and will be ready for use in rice fields by October 5. The bio decomposer Pusa is a microbial solution that has the potential to turn the stubble into manure.Also Read - Punjab Govt To Appoint 8,500 Nodal Officer At Hotspot Villages to Curb Stubble Burning

The Environment Minister stated that his Union counterpart is yet to give time for a meeting on the use of Pusa bio-decomposer in states surrounding the capital and other pollution-related issues, and urged the Centre to act promptly. Also Read - Delhi's High COVID Death Rate Due to Stubble Burning, Downtrend Expected in 2-3 Weeks: Satyender Jain

“We will start preparing Pusa bio-decomposer from September 24 and it will be ready by October 5. We have advanced the process this year so that farmers have more time to prepare their fields for the next crop,” Rai said during a press conference. Also Read - 40 per cent of Delhi's air pollution due to stubble burning: Report

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal will launch the preparations at Kharkhari Nahar. A team of scientists from the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and the Agriculture Department will supervise the process, he said. He added that, unlike last year, this time the solution will be used to decompose crop residue in basmati rice fields, too.

“Farmers told us that the combine harvester used to reap the paddy crop leaves a large quantity of residue behind. So, this time the solution will be sprayed wherever needed,” Rai said.

Audit Report on the Pusa Bio Decomposer

The solution will be used in at least 4,000 acres, which will cost the government Rs 50 lakh. “We have set up a 25-member team to register farmers who want to spray the solution in their fields,” the minister said.

The city government had recently submitted an audit report on the bio-decomposer to the Centre’s Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) and sought time from the Union environment minister for a meeting on its use in the states surrounding Delhi and other pollution-related issues. “We had sought an appointment with the Union environment minister, but we have not got one so far. If the (central) government doesn”t act promptly, it will be very difficult to make preparations for the use of Pusa bio-decomposer in other states in time,” Rai added.

Earlier, Kejriwal had said the third-party audit conducted by WAPCOS, a consultancy firm of the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, found the use of Pusa bio-decomposer highly effective. He had urged the Centre to ask neighbouring states to distribute it for free among farmers.

The Delhi government had experimented with the solution, prepared by IARI scientists, 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. The city government had approached the CAQM with the survey report but the panel asked to get an audit conducted by a third party.

The survey conducted by WAPCOS said 90 per cent of the participating 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.

(With Inputs From PTI)