AAP, BJP trade barbs over stubble-burning, Pusa bio-decomposer

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New Delhi, Nov 25 (PTI) The BJP Wednesday alleged the AAP government was making a “false” claim that it distributed Pusa bio-decomposer among the farmers here to control stubble-burning, inviting a strong retort from the ruling party which accused the BJP-led Centre of “doing nothing” to control pollution.

Addressing a press conference here, Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is spending public money on TV ads to spread a “false propaganda” that farmers here were being distributed Pusa bio-decomposer capsules to make fertilizers from paddy stubble.

“The Pusa Institute has also made it clear that a fertilizers making medicine was not purchased by the Kejriwal government,” he said.

Reacting sharply to the statement, Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai said, “There cannot be a bigger lie than this.” “There is a limit to everything. Opposition and protests are fine but making false and baseless allegations are not acceptable,” Rai told a press conference here, hours after Gupta addressed the media.

He said the Delhi government has carried out the experiment of using bio-decomposer capsules, which turns stubble to manure, in 2,000 acres of rice farms in the city and has submitted its report to the Centre's recently appointed air quality management commission.

Adesh Gupta also told his presser that a BJP delegation led by him visited several villages and spoke to the farmers there to know if they were given the Pusa bio-decomposer capsules.

“The farmers said that neither any fertilizers is being made in any area nor has any farmer been contacted in this regard by the Kejriwal government,” the party said in a statement.

In his response, Rai said, “I want to ask how did they manage to check all the farms of the capital in one single day while it took us 20 days to spray the bio decomposer throughout Delhi?” Rai said the Central government and the BJP have “done nothing” about stubble-burning and pollution in the last two months and it was high time they took some action.

“I want to tell the BJP 'Kuchh to Karo' (do something). Do something about stubble-burning. It has been two months and the Centre is just sitting and doing nothing. Had it done something so many lives would not have been lost in Delhi due to stubble burning during COVID-19 times,” he said.

The BJP also said in its statement that its delegation found that a pile of paddy stubble in every village of Delhi and alleged the Kejriwal government was sending farmer notices of Rs 50,000 fine for that.

He said the Delhi BJP delegation would also visit other villages in Delhi and 'expose the lies” of the Kejriwal government.

Rai said the BJP should not “do politics in matters concerning the life of people. And don't think that you can suppress the truth with your lies”. He accused the Centre and neighbouring state governments of inaction on stopping stubble burning.

He said the initiative which should have been taken by the Central government and the governments of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan, has been taken by Delhi government as the capital has to suffer due to the stubble burning being carried out in these states.

“In Delhi, there is 15,000 acres of land where rice is grown. The Delhi government carried out the experiment of the bio decomposer spray in 2,000 acre of land where non-Basmati rice is grown. In these farms, the crop is cut using machines which leaves residue and is burnt by the farmers which in turn causes pollution.

“The remaining 13,000 acre of land grows Basmati rice which is harvested from the roots and does not leave any residue to be burnt,” he said.

“We have submitted the report to the air-quality commission with all the details of how and when the bio decomposer was spread in the 2000 acre land in the national capital to convert the stubble into manure and avoid the residue burning,” he said.

Rai said that while the Kejriwal government is focusing on trying to control stubble-burning and reduce pollution in the capital, BJP leaders living in Delhi are not doing anything about it.

“Instead, they are lying repeatedly and leaving no stone unturned in spreading rumours. When 'Red Light On Gaadi Off' campaign was going on, BJP leader Vijay Goel protested against it on the streets. In our anti dust-campaign (there was) no participation from the BJP.

“They are just busy spreading false allegations against us. From last two months stubble burning is suffocating the people of Delhi and farmers have no solution to it so Delhi government has been trying to find a solution in collaboration with Pusa,” he said. PTI AG VIT TIR TIR