Gurgaon: Environment body advises state to explore ways to produce electricity from agri- waste | gurgaon | Hindustan Times
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Gurgaon: Environment body advises state to explore ways to produce electricity from agri- waste

Haryana government officials said steps are being taken to check paddy burning in the state

gurgaon Updated: Jul 07, 2017 22:39 IST
Ipsita Pati
Officials of Environment Pollution Control and Prevention Authority (EPCA) at a meeting in Gurgaon on Thursday.
Officials of Environment Pollution Control and Prevention Authority (EPCA) at a meeting in Gurgaon on Thursday.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

The Environment Pollution Control and Prevention Authority (EPCA) has asked Haryana government to look for ways to produce electricity from paddy waste to curb pollutants generated by the burning of agricultural waste.

Burning of paddy waste is deemed one of the major contributors to rising air pollution in the region. It increases the level of suspended particulate matter, which is 2.5 micrometres or less in diameter and a major component of air pollution. It could even settle in the lungs and lead to asthma and other respiratory problems.

“We have the technology to convert the paddy straw into electricity. Some people have approached me evincing an interest in setting up plants that can convert agricultural waste into electricity. However, they need land to set up such plants, which could only be provided by the government. Even the electricity required to run such plants has to be purchased by the state government,” Bhure Lal, chairman, Environment Pollution Control and Prevention Authority (EPCA), said.

He also pointed out that Punjab is producing 50 MW of electricity from paddy waste and is working towards meeting its target of producing 600 MW soon. “Haryana should follow this pattern,” Lal added.

State officials said that the government is taking steps to lower paddy burning in the region and is in the process of spreading awareness on the issue.

“We have identified 100 panchayats that took the initiative in checking the burning of paddy in their respective areas. We got data from NASA that helped us assess the extent of paddy burning in the area. The panchayats that took the initiative in putting a check on paddy burning in their respective villages will get cash rewards of ₹50,000 each,” KK Khandelwal, additional chief secretary (environment), Haryana, said.

Read I Gurgaon: Closure notice to nine dyeing units for polluting pond

The EPCA members said that with the state likely to witness cold and damp weather over the next three months, there could be a higher concentration of pollutants from agri-waste burning as they won’t be able to escape into the air due to the overcast skies. This could result in the air quality being marked ‘poor’ again, the members said.

The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) also imposed a fine of ₹5,000 on any one found burning garbage in the open. The MCG officials confirmed that in the last month alone, 154 challans were issued to violators.