The central commission for air quality management has directed all the 11 thermal power plants within 300 km radius of Delhi to co-fire biomass pellets with coal.
According to the panel, the measure can help to utilise millions of tonnes of biomass and reduce air pollution.
The Commission for Air Quality Management (CAQM) said that paddy straw burning is a matter of serious concern in NCR.
“The commission directs all the 11 thermal power plants within 300 km radius of Delhi to co-fire biomass-based pellets/torrified pellets. This will ensure ex-situ management of paddy straw, reduction in air pollution and improvement of paddy straw utilisation as an economic resource,” the panel said.
Different ex-situ options for paddy straw management include end products such as bio-gas, bio-ethanol, compost, fodder, applications in packaging and paper industry etc.
The commission had earlier issued an advisory to Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh for establishing a robust and continuous supply chain logistics for ex-situ utilisation of paddy straw.
Last year, the share of stubble burning in Delhi’s PM2.5 pollution level had risen to 40 per cent.
Delhi Government’s Bio-decomposer solution
Delhi government also said that they are preparing a bio-decomposer solution for spraying across farmlands around the national capital.
Notably, the Delhi government in association with the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, PUSA developed a bio-decomposer capsule. These capsules can be converted into a solution to be sprayed on crop stubble in the farmlands. Once sprayed on the fields, the solution decomposes the stubble into compost in 20 days.
Delhi government is constantly meeting with different departments and preparing a winter action plan. Stubble burning contributes to Delhi’s pollution that reaches a dangerous level.
Last year, the Delhi government, in association with Pusa Institute, sprayed bio-decomposer on the fields. We presented that entire report and a third-party audit to the Central Commission for Air Quality Management.
The Delhi government will prepare the bio-decomposer solution between 24 September and by 5 October. The government will spray the solution free of cost in the farmlands.