A biomass power plant in Punjab's Ferozepur is doing God's work by converting the troublesome paddy stubble into electricity. The Sukhbir Agro Energy Limited aims to make this initiative favourable for the farmers, who do stubble burning every year that causes an incessant amount of pollution in North India. They will be paid for selling the same to the power plant as well, which could prove beneficial for them.
Turning Environmental Crisis Into An Opportunity
As reported by news agency ANI, the power plant's commercial General Manager named Satish Bedi explained how this takes places. He said, "The power plant's capacity is 18 MW per hour. It is stubble based and uses 600 tons of stubble in a day and around 2-2.25 lakh tons of stubble in a year."
Further, Bedi emphasises on the need of such power plants in the state and in the country as well. "If 24-26 plants like this are set up in Punjab, we would generate a lot of electricity for the state. This will resolve the environmental problem and also eliminate the stubble burning problem," he adds. It also aims to provide direct employment to around 1500 people.
Along with employment, this method will prove to be lucrative for the farmers. Bedi says, "We take all the stubble from farmland and the land becomes empty for farming again. Farmers are also paid for selling the stubble. It is cherry on top for them."
A Viable Solution Along With Controlling Pollution
According to the Hindustan Times, the Central Government has pushed Punjab towards adapting methods of ex-situ management that could reduce stubble burning instances. An example of this is using this for generating electricity. The state's Pollution Control Board also asked three thermal plants to use the stubble to the extent of 10% of total coal use.
Along with Punjab, the Centre's Commission for Air Quality Management has asked the nearby states as well to adapt to this method due to its effectiveness at a lower cost. This could play an important role in the future as stubble burning is a major problem that is yet to be mitigated to avoid pollution in the North Indian states every year.