Hardeep Singh Puri meets CEO of German Biogas Association; discusses issue of stubble burning

Berlin (Germany): Amid high pollution levels in the national capital, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Hardeep Singh Puri met Claudius da Costa Gomez, CEO of the German Biogas Association, in Berlin and said they tried to find a solution of stubble burning as Germany is a world leader in producing biogas from parali (stubble).

“Problems of parali burning in Punjab are a cause of deep anguish. Met Dr Claudius da Costa Gomez, CEO of German Biogas Association, to try to find out solution of parali burning which will provide relief to people from parali burning and will also put parali to profitable use,” Hardeep Singh Puri posted on X (formerly Twitter).

He further said that Parali can be used for producing biogas, a process in which Germany is a world leader.

“Parali can be used for producing biogas, a process in which Germany is a world leader. This will provide momentum to India’s quest for cleaner sources of energy under the visionary leadership of PM Narendra Modi Ji and will create an additional source of income for the farmers,” he further said.

“An estimated 352 MT of stubble is generated each year in India. 22 per cent of this comes from wheat crop and 34 per cent from rice. About 84 MT (23.86 per cent) of this stubble is burnt on-field annually, immediately after harvest. Utilising this for biogas will be a win-win!” he further posted on X.

According to an official statement, during the 45 days’ period in the current paddy harvesting season, i.e., September 15, 2023 to October 29, 2023, the total stubble burning incidents in Haryana, Punjab, NCR – UP, NCR- Rajasthan and Delhi have come down from 13,964 in the corresponding period in 2022 to 6,391 in 2023 and from 11,461 in the corresponding period in 2021 to 6,391 in 2023 that is, a reduction of 54.2 pc and 44.3 per cent respectively.

Despite worsening air quality in several parts of the country and pollution levels posing a threat to the health of people, stubble burning continued to be reported from villages in Punjab.

Meanwhile, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai has called a meeting of all concerned departments today to ensure compliance with the instructions given by the Supreme Court yesterday regarding pollution.

The meeting will be attended by Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot and Revenue Minister Atishi, Office of the Environment Minister said.

A thick toxic haze or ‘smog’, continued to hang heavy over the national capital as the air quality remained in the ‘severe’ category on Wednesday, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) informed.

According to the data shared by the CPCB at 7:30 am, the Air Quality Index (AQI) in Anand Vihar was recorded at 452, while it was at 433, 460, 382, and 413 at RK Puram, Punjabi Bagh, Sri Aurobindo Marg and Shadipur, all in the ‘severe’ category.

A team of technical and operational staff also reached ‘Smog Tower’ in Connaught Place after the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the government to repair the smog tower as Delhi air quality continues to remain in the ‘severe’ category.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Punjab government to stop stubble burning and listed the matter for hearing on November 10. The directions of the apex court came while hearing an issue relating to air pollution in Delhi-NCR.

According to doctors, for any healthy person, a recommended AQI should be less than 50, but these days the AQI has spiked beyond 400, which could prove fatal for those suffering from lung-related diseases and even pose a risk of lung cancer.

(With inputs from ANI)



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