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Stubble burning: Kejriwal charges neighbouring states of not taking action to support farmers

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday charged neighbouring state governments of not taking any action to support the farmers on the issue of stubble burning, saying the air quality in the national capital will start deteriorating from mid-October.

Stubble burning: Kejriwal charges neighbouring states of not taking action to support farmers
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal (File Photo)

New Delhi

Delhi faces high levels of air pollution with the onset of winters, the season coinciding with paddy straw (Parali) burning in the fields in Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh. 

The Delhi chief minister said the air is currently clean in Delhi with particulate matter levels in 'good' and 'satisfactory' categories. ''Del air quality will deteriorate from mid-Oct (stubble burning). State govts have not taken action to support their farmers. On its own, Del air is clean. On 18 Sep- AQI- 69 (0 to 50 - Good, 51 to 100 - Satisfactory), PM10- 67, PM2.5 - 27 (0 to 30 Good, 31 to 60 Satisfactory),'' Kejriwal tweeted. 

The Delhi government has been pressing for adoption of Pusa bio-decomposer, a microbial solution that can reportedly turn stubble into manure, urging the Centre to ask neighbouring states to distribute it for free among farmers. 

Earlier this week, Kejriwal said that a third party survey by a central government agency WAPCOS has found that use of bio-decomposer is effective in getting rid of stubble, thereby preventing its burning by the farmers. 

He had also said he would meet the Union Environment minister to push for use of bio-decomposer in the states neighbouring Delhi. 

The Delhi government last year distributed the bio-decomposer free of cost that was used by farmers on 1,935 acre of farm land in 39 villages to convert stubble into manure, he had said. The survey by WAPCOS has come up with very encouraging results on use of the bio-decomposer. Ninety percent farmers who used it claimed stubble was reduced to manure in 15- 20 days, he had said. The Delhi government recently submitted the audit report of Pusa bio-decomposer to the Centre''s Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), and urged it to implement the measure in states surrounding the capital. The Delhi government has also prohibited storage, sale, purchase and use of firecrackers in view of high air pollution levels at the time of Diwali festival. 

Delhi Environment minister Gopal Rai on Friday directed private agencies involved in construction work in the city to follow norms to stop dust pollution within 15 days. 

The Delhi government will take strict action against private agencies found not following the norms as per the winter action plan, he had said.

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