Sunday, December 10, 2023

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

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Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Hardeep Singh Puri, held discussions with Claudius da Costa Gomez, the CEO of the German Biogas Association, in Berlin to address the issue of stubble burning amid high pollution levels in the national capital. Germany is renowned for its expertise in generating biogas from agricultural residue like stubble.

Minister Puri shared his concern about the problems caused by stubble burning in Punjab and explored potential solutions. He highlighted that Germany excels in converting stubble into biogas, which can contribute to reducing pollution and offer an additional source of income for farmers. The minister emphasized the role of cleaner energy sources in India’s energy landscape under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Stubble, a significant environmental issue in India, can be effectively utilized for biogas production. Puri stressed the potential of this approach, considering that India generates an estimated 352 million tons of stubble annually, with a substantial portion being burned in the fields.

According to official data, during the 45-day paddy harvesting season in 2023, stubble burning incidents in various regions have notably reduced compared to previous years. Despite these efforts, the national capital continues to grapple with severe air quality issues.

In response to the ongoing air quality crisis, Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai called for a meeting to ensure compliance with the Supreme Court’s instructions concerning pollution control.

The air quality in Delhi remains in the “severe” category, as reported by the Central Pollution Control Board, with the Air Quality Index (AQI) exceeding 400. This poses a significant health risk, particularly for individuals with lung-related ailments.

The Supreme Court has directed the Punjab government to cease stubble burning and has scheduled a further hearing on the matter for November 10. The apex court’s directives come in the context of addressing air pollution concerns in the Delhi-NCR region.

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