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The steep increase in Delhi’s air pollution in the winter months due to crop stubble burning is a longstanding problem
A study done by the CSE (Centre for Science and Environment) on the causes of Delhi air pollution between 24th Oct and 8th Nov 2021 showed that only 31% of the pollution is due to local causes. Crop stubble burning (mostly in neighbouring states) contributed to 14.5% and polluting industries outside Delhi in the NCR region to the remaining 54.5%.

On Nov 12th-13th 2021, the number of farm fires broke a 5-year record. Satellite images show the locations of the farm fires:

(Source: Tweet by Jasmine Shah, Vice-Chairperson, DDC (Delhi Dialogue and Development Commission))

The PUSA Institute’s Bio-decomposer – effective and inexpensive

The AAP Delhi government had been searching for alternatives and practical solutions that could be used to address the crop stubble problem at scale. 

The PUSA Institute in Delhi has had a bio-decomposer solution to the crop stubble burning for over a decade. The PUSA project was studied & approved by CM Arvind Kejriwal.  

The AAP government provides this solution free of cost to all farmers in Delhi.

A smashing success

PUSA Bio-Decomposer Solution considered a “Smashing success

According to a central agency survey report released in Sep 2021, Delhi farmers are very happy with the PUSA bio-decomposer.

In addition to being highly effective, this is a very inexpensive solution too. It costs just Rs. 30 per acre.

Usage of PUSA Biodecomposer in Delhi – Winter of 2020

  • The Delhi Government provided free usage of PUSA bio-decomposer to the farmers of Delhi in 2020. The liquid solution to convert stubble into manure instead of burning is formulated and distributed.
  • In 24 villages, 70-95% of the crop residue was converted into manure in 15 to 20 days which prevented stubble burning.
  • The AAP Delhi Government also filed a petition to the AQC (Air Quality Commission) requesting for the PUSA Institute’s Bio-Decomposer to be implemented in other states.

Usage of PUSA Biodecomposer in Delhi – Winter of 2021

The CM himself monitored the situation with regular press conferences and daily tweets on air quality starting 18 September 2021

The first deterioration happened as expected by the 2nd week of October. Comparison with last year’s tweets of stubble burning fire maps of the region during the same time also showed increased activity.

The Delhi Government started spraying the PUSA bio-decomposer on 11th Oct 2021 (as reported in this video in a tweet by NDTV) over 4000 acres of harvested fields (to remove crop residue without burning) free of cost.


But, even though a panel had suggested that they do so, the neighbouring states had still not started spraying the PUSA bo-decomposer solution in all the farms in their states. The AAP Delhi Government had, on 17 September itself, submitted a positive Third Party Audit Report to the central agency CAQM, requesting the neighbouring states to use the bio-decomposer too.

Usage of PUSA bio decomposer

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AAP Outreach Team