5-7% Biomass Pellets in Thermal Plants to Reduce Stubble Burning, Sigh of Relief for NCR

To cut back stubble burning, a serious concern for the National Capital Region (NCR) each winter, it has been made necessary for thermal energy vegetation to make use of biomass pellets as 5-7% of their gas combine, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman introduced in her Union finances speech on Tuesday.

With the onset of winter, farm fires grow to be rampant in northern Indian states, significantly in Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh. Burning of crops worsens the air high quality within the area throughout winter and contributes to the alarming air pollution ranges within the neighboring Delhi.

Pellets are combined with coal to generate electrical energy. India’s energy vegetation eat round 700 million tonnes (mt) of coal yearly. Encouraging farmers to transform crop stubble into pellets for a 5-7% mix as a substitute of burning it’ll save round 38 million metric tonnes of CO2 yearly, give additional earnings to farmers and supply job alternatives to locals. The plan is a part of the technique to assist India’s vitality transition and verify air pollution from crop-stubble burning by changing them into pellets and facilitating their sale.

Over the years, it has grow to be a political concern because the heads of the state interact in confrontation over stubble burning.


Wheat and paddy are probably the most prevalent crops within the agricultural states, comparable to Punjab and Haryana. One of the explanations for the stubble burning is attributed to the quick time accessible between rice harvesting and sowing of wheat.

As stubble cannot be made into one thing helpful, the best option for farmers is to burn it. Stubble incorporates a excessive quantity of silica, which makes it very dangerous fodder. Hence, feeding it to cattle shouldn’t be an possibility. Transportation of stubble to numerous locations the place it may be helpful can also be not possible because it requires further capital and time to execute.

The 2009 Punjab Preservation of Subsoil Act mandates that paddy transplantation date is mounted for June 20 which pushes forward the harvesting of rice crop, as a substitute of May, in order that a good portion of water is sourced from the rains within the monsoon. However, it leaves farmers with simply 20-25 days between two crops. A delay in sowing the wheat would adversely have an effect on the wheat crop. Therefore, the quickest and best resolution is to burn the crop residue.

ALSO READ | EXPLAINED: Why Stubble Burning Continues To Have Delhi-NCR In A Chokehold

Reports counsel that 20 million tonnes of rice stubble are produced yearly in Punjab, out of which 80% is burnt on the farm.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had banned crop residue burning within the states of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab in 2015. Burning crop residue can also be a criminal offense underneath Section 188 of the IPC and underneath the Air and Pollution Control Act of 1981 .

The Supreme Court additionally stepped within the concern and in 2019 ordered some northern states to provide Rs 2,400 per acre to each farmer who did not burn stubble. However, the initiative did not grow to be a success as states did not pay the farmers.

IN 2021

“To stop stubble burning in Delhi, we sprayed bio-decomposer solution in fields. Farmers don’t need to burn stubble after spraying it. Why can’t state governments of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh spray this liquid,” Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal had requested.

In a press assertion on October 15, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change mentioned that paddy residue burning incidents had come down “significantly” this 12 months in Punjab, Haryana and eight districts of UP which are a part of the NCR. It mentioned that as towards 1,795 stubble burning fires reported within the final there have been 4,854 cases throughout the identical interval in 2020.

The ministry added that as per a protocol framed by ISRO for the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR and Adjoining Areas, “paddy residue burning events have been reduced by 69.49 per cent in Punjab, by 18.28 per cent in Haryana and by 47.61 per cent” within the eight UP NCR districts within the previous one-month interval in comparison with the identical time final 12 months. It famous that “no fire counts have been reported from Delhi and two NCR districts of Rajasthan”.

But it additionally recognized “major hotspots of paddy residue burning” in Punjab (Amritsar, Tarn Taran, Patiala and Ludhiana districts) and Haryana (Karnal, Kaithal and Kurukshetra), which account for 72 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively, of all stubble burning incidents within the two states.

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