1. Agriculture World

This NRI from US Has a Permanent Solution to Stop Stubble Burning & Save Environment from Pollution

Abha Toppo
Abha Toppo

A Non-resident Indian (NRI) businessman from US has come forward with a solution that will not only deal with the growing problem of stubble burning in Punjab but also save the environment from pollution or smog. Since last few days, the air quality in Delhi has been very toxic due stubble burning in both Punjab and Haryana. Everybody including the Centre, State governments have been looking for ways to prevent this smog.

Reading about the stubble burning problem, a Non-resident Indian (NRI) businessman has recommended setting up 1,000 MW biomass energy generating plants in Punjab, his home town. Chiranjeev Kathuria, who lives in the United States, told media that his company New Generation Power International is planning to invest in 4,000 MW in power projects in the state.

Kathuria said, of these projects, 3000 MW will be generated by solar power while the remaining with the use of biomass made from stubble of both wheat and paddy crops.

The NRI said the crop residue will be purchased from the growers and this will help tackle environment pollution, a serious issue in northern India. The plan basically is to establish 200 plants, each having 5 MW capacity that will use the stubble as raw material. He said this will definitely help solve the stubble burning problem.

stubble burn

Each plant will be established strategically near a major sub-station that will cater to 10 to 15 villages. 

Gurpreet Kangar, State Revenue Minister said the power produced by the plants will be fed directly into the main grid. Moreover, the Punjab State Power Corp Ltd would get the benefit of this additional power.

The Minister said this initiative will cost nearly Rs 25,000 crore & will be set up by Kathuria on the build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) format. The power subsidy of Punjab government will be eventually reduced to just Rs 500 crore in the long run.

Kangar said, "When we explained the problems to Kathuria he went two steps ahead & offered us few permanent solutions".

The Minister added "Given his achievements in the solar power sector & his ability to generate energy through latest techniques, I was convinced that by taking the advantage of Kathuria's long expertise in the field, we will be able to protect the environment from pollution & dispose of the stubble in a greener way".

He told that the power project will help in meeting two big purposes. On one side it will improve the condition of the state exchequer and on the other hand will permanently remove the problem of pollution that has been affecting the air quality of Punjab and neighboring states including Delhi.

As per agriculture officials, every year after post paddy harvest, Punjab faces the challenge of managing almost 20 million tonne of paddy straw. This means about 85 to 90% of this paddy straw is burnt in the fields.

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