New Delhi [India], September 21 (ANI): In view of stubble burning in months of October and November causing degradation of Air Quality Index (AQI) in Delhi and adjoining areas, the Air Quality Commission constituted by the Centre directed 11 thermal power plants within a 300-km radius of Delhi to co-fire biomass pellets with coal 'without any delay'.
The commission has asked to submit the first-action report by September 25.
The document issued by the commission reads: "In view of...the compelling need to control air pollution from burning of paddy straw and its effective utilisation as a resource, the Commission constituted under the provisions of 'Commission for Air Quality Management in National Capital Region and Adjoining Areas, Act, 2021', hereby directs the Coal based Thermal Power plants situated up to a radius of 300 Km of Delhi to initiate immediate steps to co-fire biomass-based Pellets. Torrefied Pellets/Briquettes (with focus on paddy straw) with Coal (up to 5-10 per cent) in the power plants through a continuous and uninterrupted supply chain."
It further stated, "...to take all necessary steps to ensure that co-firing of biomass pellets in Thermal Power Plants begin without any delay."
The first-action taken report in compliance with the above direction has to be submitted to the Commission by September 25, 2021, and reports thereafter may be sent on a monthly basis.
The copy of the notice has been forwarded to the chief state secretaries of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.
The Commission views that ex-situ utilisation of paddy straw is an important strategy to solve the problem, especially in the coal-based thermal power plants, being one of the potential users. It has taken up the matter regarding ex-situ stubble management with National Capital Region (NCR) states in the past.
"Co-firing has the potential of utilising millions of tonnes of biomass (including paddy straw) in thermal power plants, addressing the issue of stubble burning, reduction in air pollution and using straw as a resource," the commission observed. (ANI)