New Delhi: Sweden is exploring ways to come up with innovative technology to address the issue of stubble-burning in parts of north India that leads to pollution in Delhi-NCR, a Swedish diplomat said.
Delhi has seen this problem of air pollution and smog and the air quality gets worse around November. And, stubble-burning has been a major issue. So, we are looking into ways to bring an innovative technology to address this issue, Gautam Bhattacharyya, Deputy Head of Mission at Swedish Embassy here, said.
Stubble-burning refers to a practice adopted by many farmers in northwest India, who typically burn abundant crop residue on the fields after harvest season in order to prepare their fields for subsequent planting.
Mr Bhattacharyya was speaking at a panel discussion here on ‘India-Nordic Partnership: An Idea Whose Time Has Come’. Envoys of Finland, Iceland and Denmark, and the deputy mission of Norway were also present at the discussion. The Swedish diplomat said his country was in talks with the Department of Science and Technology of India to work on the innovation.
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The idea essentially seeks to transform those burning fields (stubble) into bio coal. We want to see if this idea can be scalable, he said.
Ambassador of Finland to India, Nina Vaskunlahti said her country also had innovative solutions to offer in the matter like converting rice paddy to fibre that can later be used for making clothes.
“In fact, on green technology, a Finland-based company is running a pilot project in Delhi and will soon expand to another city,” she said at the panel discussion.
Later on the sidelines of the programme, the envoy said the project involves Fortum, a leading clean-energy company which is working on charging point technology here. “It will start another pilot in Hyderabad soon,” she added.
Ambassador of Denmark to India, Peter Taksoe-Jensen in his address spoke about the historic links between the two countries that go back to the 17th century.
“After 2011, our bilateral ties are again back on track and we want to build on our partnership. We want to do more than we have done in other Asian countries like Vietnam or China,” he said.
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On Nordic-India ties, the Danish envoy said, “As Nordic countries, we are also competitors, but we have to work in such a way that we can build a relationship together with India. We need to do more”.
On Danish companies’ investments in India, he said, “There are issues and challenges. We do not want a situation where companies end up wasting time in India. So we need to take the first step before we can move on to the next one.”
Ambassador of Iceland to India, Thorir Ibsen reiterated that Iceland’s support to India was “unwavering” for permanent membership of the UN Security Council or the NSG (Nuclear Suppliers Group).
Hanne Meldgaard, Deputy Head of Mission at the Norwegian Embassy, highlighted the need to care for the environment as India and Nordic countries further build on their ties.
In April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had attended the India-Nordic Summit in Stockholm and also held bilateral meets with Nordic leaders to boost ties.