Based on this, there are proposals to deploy rotary root stubble digging machines to plough it back into the soil and enrich it.
But stubble is the least of the problem; the greater is the rice straw and husk left behind after threshing and milling.
Two other chemical processes called the Fischer-Tropsch synthesis and the water-gas shift reaction, which have been in use for more than a hundred years in the petro-chemicals industry, can convert this mixture into any type of transport fuel – from CNG to diesel, methanol and aviation jet fuel.
They can also produce dimethyl ether, which is a heavy condensate gas that can effortlessly replace LPG as a cooking gas.
The dilemma they face was highlighted by the Aam Aadmi Party’s own party chief in Punjab, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, when he defied the state government’s order and ceremonially burnt crop stubble on October 15.
In Delhi, there is an impression that the stubble that is left after the crop is harvested is the only problem.
Both the very young and the elderly cannot be treated with antibiotics, or for very long, without causing complications.
So the smog prevents their lungs from healing and turns them into factories for bacteria.
Every morning the city’s citizens wake up to a dark grey sky.
But these are not clouds: take a flight to Mumbai and at 3,000 feet you will burst into a crystal blue sky.