New Delhi, Sep 16 (PTI) The Delhi government on Thursday submitted an audit report of Pusa bio-decomposer, a microbial solution that can reportedly turn stubble into manure, to the Centre's Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM), and urged it to implement the measure in states surrounding the capital, officials said. They also said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Environment Minister Gopal Rai are likely to meet Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav next week to discuss measures to be taken to reduce pollution in the capital.
The Delhi government had experimented with the solution, prepared by scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute here last year, and had also got a survey done by the Development Department to ascertain its effectiveness.
Thereafter, the city government had approached the CAQM with the survey report so that the solution can also be used in other states as well. The commission had asked it to get an audit conducted by a third party.
The Delhi government engaged WAPCOS, a consultancy firm of the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, to conduct the audit.
The agency included 79 farmers of 15 villages in four districts in the survey conducted recently.
Ninety per cent of the farmers claimed that the solution turned stubble into manure in 15-20 days, the audit report said.
Also, the content of carbon in the soil increased by 40 per cent, nitrogen 24 per cent, bacteria seven times and fungi three times. Sprouting of wheat also increased by 17-20 per cent due to improved soil fertility, it said.
Former Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar had last year said Pusa bio-decomposer will be tried out in some areas of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh and if the technique is found successful, it will be expanded to more areas.
Farmers say there is a small window of 10-15 days between paddy harvesting and sowing of wheat and they burn stubble as it is a cheap and time-saving method to manage the straw and prepare their field for the next crop.
Last year, the share of stubble burning in Delhi's PM2.5 pollution had risen to 40 per cent on November 1.