NTPC to source stubble for power plants

The government seems to be waking up from slumber to tackle the persisting problem of stubble burning as Power Minister RK Singh on Thursday said that state-run NTPC would float a tender to buy farm stubble at Rs 5,500 per tonne for power plants. The move will check farmers from burning stubble , which is key source of pollution in the national capital region (NCR). The minister also said the move would help farmers earn around Rs 11,000 per acre from the sale of stubble/straw pellets.

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A large number of farmers particularly in Punjab and Haryana are burning the farm stubble/straw, which causes air pollution, in the absence of viable alternatives. “On an average a farmers get around 2 tonnes of stubble or straw in an acre. NTPCNational Thermal Power Corporation Limited, is an Indian Public Sector Undertaking, engaged in the business of generation of electricity and allied activities. It is a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 and a "Government Company" within the meaning of the act. The headquarters of the company is situated at New Delhi. NTPC's core business is generation and sale of... will bring a tender to buy the pellets of this farm residue in next few days at a rate of Rs 5,500 per tonne,” Singh said at a press conference.

 The Delhi-NCR region has been witnessing severe level of pollution since November 8. However, this is not the first time the region has witnessed a thick layer of smog. Last year, the city witnessed six days of heavy smog and schools had to be shut down. Despite hue and cry from several quarters over inaction on addressing the issue, the Delhi government has not been able to do anything. The national Green Tribunal had earlier expressed concern over the high pollution level in Delhi-NCR.

Power Secretary AK Bhalla, however, told reporters that the stubble pellets procured for power plants may not be used for this season, but the system will be in place. On the likely bidders, Singh said a new market will be created under which service providers will bid after making arrangements with farmers. He assured that the use of farm residue pellets would not result in a tariff escalation for the power generator. Singh said that mixing of pellets up to 10 per cent of the total fuel in a power plant is possible without affecting its efficiency in terms of gross calorific value.

The Hindu

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