Medicine

Stubble-burning solution? Power plants told to mix 10% straw with coal

Stubble-burning solution? Power plants told to mix 10% straw with coal

The initiative by the state-run NTPC could encourage farmers to collect the crop residue left behind in the farms by use of mechanized harvesters and turn it over.

The Power Ministry today cleared a proposal to use parali with coal as fuel in thermal power stations to generate electricity. A farmer can gather around two tonnes of straw per acre, giving an economic incentive to avoid clearing the farmland by burning it. Singh hoped that creating such a market would help tackle the problem. We examined that 10 per cent of straw pellets, stubble or briquettes can be mixed with coal.

The tribunal had also sought a reply from the NTPC as to why it could take the stubble from the farmers under its corporate social responsibility programme for the "general cause of environment".

The burning of stubble is one of the reasons behind the increasing levels of pollution Delhi and neighbouring states. He said farmers will get Rs 11,000 for stubble from one acre of farm land. "NTPC will float a tender to buy (straw/stubble) pellets in the next few days. a new market will be created in which service providers will bid after making arrangements with farmers", Singh said on Thursday after launching a portal for Saubhagya, the scheme to provide power connections to poor households.

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It had sought the names and details of all powerhouses and biomass-based energy plants which could use crop residue for electricity generation and had directed the Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab governments to provide a detailed strategy of how "happy seeders" (machines to sow wheat without burning of paddy crop residue) or "balers" could be given to farmers.

The green panel had said the five states-Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi-which had issued notifications prohibiting agriculture crop residue burning, should ensure that these notifications were enforced rigorously and proper action was taken against the defaulters.

Thermal power companies alone account for 80 percent of all industrial emissions of particulate matter, sulphur and nitrous oxides in India, and their slowness in complying with new standards to curb pollution shows the difficulties India faces in cleaning up its polluted air.


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