Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana is seen as a major cause for Delhi's low air quality.
Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav on Saturday said stubble burning could be reduced in Punjab this year because the Centre got bio-decomposer sprayed in the agrarian state under corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Speaking at an event organised by Aaj Tak, he also criticised the AAP governments in Delhi and Punjab for adopting a two-sided approach to curb farm fires, saying they used bio-decomposer, a microbial solution to decompose paddy straw, in the capital but not in the border state.
On Monday, the Union Environment Ministry had announced a 30 per cent drop in the number of farm fires in Punjab and a 48 per cent drop in stubble burning incidents in Haryana this season (September 15-November 30).
Since 2020, the Delhi government has been using Pusa bio-decomposer to prevent stubble burning in the capital. Farm fires are a major reason behind a spike in air pollution in Delhi-NCR in October-November.
Mr. Yadav claimed the AAP government in Delhi spent crores of rupees on the publicity of bio-decomposer in Delhi but did not use it in Punjab.
"They spent Rs 20 lakh on the use of bio-decomposer in Delhi last year and spent Rs 324 crore on advertisements... but refused to use it in Punjab... This contradictory approach won't work," he said.
"Whatever reduction (in stubble burning) happened was because we got this work done through CSR," Mr. Yadav said.
According to the ministry, the maximum share of farm fires in Delhi's PM2.5 pollution stood at 34 per cent (on November 3) this year as against 48 per cent (on November 7) last year.
The average air quality index of Delhi improved from 376 in November last year to 320 this November.
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