Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) vice-chancellor Lt Gen (retd) Zameerudin Shah has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, offering to help the Centre “herald the second green revolution” and clean the Ganga and the Yamuna rivers using technology developed at the institute.
The V-C has also sought an audience with the PM to give a “short presentation” on these two topics.
“Our scientists have been able to harness nano technology, which can bring about the second green revolution in the country. We have been able to grow plants rapidly without using pesticides. We have also been able to preserve fresh fruits and vegetables without refrigeration,” the V-C said in his letter.
Talking to The Indian Express, he said, “Hopefully we are going to herald the second green revolution. Our scientists have treated certain crops… and found that even without refrigeration, they have remained okay for a substantially longer period.” He said the food materials had been tested and were fit for consumption.
Prof S Alim Husain Naqvi, principal coordinator of the project at AMU, said that “tomatoes treated with the nano technology can be kept at room temperature for two-and-a-half months without rotting, apples for three months, grapes and kiwis for two months, ripe mangoes for a month, and potatoes for three months”.
Terming the results a “miracle”, Prof Alim said that chemicals used by fruit and vegetable vendors for preservation contained harmful substances. “With our technology, we hope to mitigate economic losses and reduce diseases,” he said. An ASSOCHAM study last year estimated India’s annual post-harvest losses at over Rs 2 lakh crore annually, owing to inadequate cold storage facilities and lack of proper food processing units.
The V-C also wrote: “AMU would like to participate in your project to clean up the Ganga and Yamuna. The concept being developed by our scientists does not require any energy at all. All that is required is sufficient land, where special plants can be grown, which will absorb the impurities…”