Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Prakash Javadekar on Monday said that much needs to be done to address the issue of stubble burning that impacts Delhi's air quality in the winter months and noted that the central government has provided Rs 1150 crore assistance for machines that will allow stubble to be converted to manure.
Addressing a press conference, the minister said the problem of stubble burning was old and steps have been taken to tackle it by the Modi government.
"The biggest question and it will come again is stubble burning," Javadekar said at a press conference here on steps taken to by the central government to deal with the problem of air pollution in Delhi.
He said farmers in Haryana and Punjab have been burning stubble for years and if such air reaches Delhi, it adds to worries.
"If the (polluted) air comes to Delhi, the issue becomes serious. For this, the central government has provided assistance of Rs 1150 crore and 18,000 machines have been given to farmers in Punjab and Haryana. They will not need to burn the stubble. It will be broken and will be turned into manure," he said.
"There is a need to do it much more. Now it has started, earlier it had not even started. It has been burning for 20 years, but work has started now,' he said.
The minister said the government has for the first time made "construction and demolition waste management rules" which are based on those followed for metro construction.
He said three units to deal with construction and demolition waste were working and another four will be set up. The minister said that the measures have prevented 6 lakh tonne of debris from going into rivers and drains.
He added that 76 road sweeping machines and 502 water sprinklers have been provided to deal with the problem of dust.
Additionally, three waste-to-energy plants were using 6000 tonnes of waste to produce 52 MW power.