New Delhi, Sep 30 (PTI) The Delhi government will work with Pusa Research Institute from October 5 to prepare a fermented liquid solution to be sprayed on 800 hectares of land in the city to reduce the need for stubble-burning, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday.
In an online briefing, he said that the work on creating an agri mix capsule is likely to be completed by October 12-13. Four of these capsules can be mixed with a liquid solution and sprayed over one hectare of land, the chief minister said.
The process will be executed under the guidance of the Pusa Research Institute, and the cost of the implementation of the entire project is less than Rs 20 lakh, he said.
This year, Pusa Research Institute, the most reputed institute in the field of agricultural research in the country, has presented a very cheap solution to the problem of stubble-burning, Kejriwal said.
'They have formulated capsules. Four capsules can be mixed with a liquid solution prepared with jaggery and gram flour and sprayed to cover one hectare of land. The mixture softens hard straw and turns it into manure,' he added.
Calling it a 'cheap alternative', the chief minister said farmers usually start preparing for the next sowing season around October 15 every year, and so, there was no time left for the Delhi government to distribute the capsules to the farmers.
'Distributing these capsules, providing training to the farmers and conversion of these capsules into a sprayable liquid form is a time-consuming process. We have decided that this mixture will be prepared by the Delhi government itself under the guidance of the Pusa Research Institute,' he said.
The government has made all arrangements for the same, and this process will begin on October 5, he added.
There are around 800 hectares of land in Delhi where non-basmati rice is grown, following which stubble is collected and burned, Kejriwal said.
'The Delhi government will be starting the process of preparing this liquid solution by October 5 which will hopefully be completed by October 12-13, after which the Delhi government will visit the farmers with the solution to be sprayed on their farmlands,' he said.
Kejriwal said the government will set up the entire spraying system through tractors on fields and farmers will not have to pay for it.
Explaining how it will work, he said that after around 15-20 days, the stubble will soften and convert into manure. The scientists have informed that once the stubble converts into manure, it will improve the fertility and productivity of the land, the chief minister said, adding that burning the stubble kills useful bacteria in the soil.
'The entire cost of the implementation of this project in Delhi is less than Rs 20 lakh. We have made all arrangements for the implementation of this system in Delhi,' he added.
Kejriwal expressed hope that other states will also try and implement this system as much as possible.
'I have also written a letter to the central government in this regard, requesting them to implement this system in other states to whatever extent it is possible,' he added.
Stubble-burning is a major cause of pollution in Delhi-NCR, especially in winter months.
In the month of October, the entire northern region of India is troubled with the smoke that covers the belt due to crop stubble burning, the chief minister said.
Delhi and other cities have to suffer from the smoke, but the farmers forced to burn the stubble and their villages are the ones who have to suffer the most, he said.
'During the time of coronavirus, pollution can be dangerous and state governments should work towards finding solutions. Pusa Research Institute has found an economical solution,' he said.
In his letter to the Centre on September 26, Kejriwal had said Indian Agricultural Research Institute (famously known as PUSA) scientists have developed a chemical that decomposes stubble and turns it into manure. There is no need for farmers to burn stubble.' Experts at the institute have developed what they call decomposer capsules. Just four capsules, some jaggery and chickpea flour are needed to prepare 25 litres of a solution, enough to cover one hectare of land.
In a related development, Environment Minister Gopal Rai said a training session was conducted by Indian Agricultural Research Institute at the Delhi Secretariat for the government's field officers and some farmers. PTI SLB/KND IJT