From the 1960s-61 onwards, a mixture of smoke and fog began to pollute the air here before the onset of winter in the capital of India, Delhi and its surrounding areas. Year after year this problem started getting worse. All the government and some private efforts also could not get rid of this problem.
If we look at the origin of this problem, then its roots are found hidden in the Green Revolution. In fact, before the Green Revolution, India used to import wheat from the United States under Public Law- 480 i.e. PL-480.
Under the Green Revolution, high quality seeds were developed, subsidies on fertilizers and pesticides were announced. Apart from this, farmers were also given exemption on the use of electricity.
The result of all this was that Punjab, Haryana and Western Uttar Pradesh had bumper crop production. However, amidst the high yield of crops, some problems also took birth. These problems were related to the quality of the land, so they were having an impact on the environment as well.
Farmers chose crops to grow in the fields not on the basis of agro-climatic conditions but on the basis of profit. For example, rice was cultivated in Punjab, which was completely unfavorable to the agro-climatic conditions here. Due to this crop, the groundwater level started falling down here.
Due to the announcement of minimum support price on wheat and rice, farmers paid more attention to growing these crops. As a result, single crop agriculture was encouraged. Another problem was the short time available between the two cropping seasons. Because of this, the residue left after the harvesting of a crop had to be burnt in the field under compulsion.
For example, the Kharif season is from June to October and the Rabi season is from October to March. In such a situation, by the time the paddy was harvested, it was time to sow wheat. In such a situation, the farmers used to burn the crop residues in the field in a hurry.
Gradually, when this problem started polluting the air of Delhi and normal life was disturbed due to this, the government took some necessary steps to solve it.
Some of these steps were related to in-situ disposal of crop residues within the field and some were externally.
Happy Seeder and Pusa Decomposer are well-known in-situ solutions. In Happy Seeder, where the harvested crop residues are scattered over the seeds being sown, in Pusa Decomposer they are deposited in the field and converted into manure.
These are collected together from the field to produce ethanol under the out-of-situ solution process. This process is rather expensive. Despite all these procedures, this problem has not been solved yet. To solve this problem, it is necessary to adopt in-situ and out-of-place measures, along with it there is a need for research and development to make these techniques more affordable. The government should make provision for more finance in this direction.