After suffering from polluted air for years, especially during winter, the citizens of Delhi may just be able to breathe cleaner air this time. Delhi may get respite from smoggy mornings this winter.The capital may not witness smoggy mornings this winter as many farmers in the neighbouring state of Punjab have stopped burning paddy stubble and are using it to generate electricity with the help of biomass machines, chairman of Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) Bhure Lal has said. Stubble is also being used to produce compost for fields, he said.
Last year, uncontrolled burning of paddy stubbles by farmers in Haryana and Punjab resulted in heavy smog which lasted for nearly 12 days in the NCR, disrupting normal life. At present six machines are being used to produce 62.5 MW electricity from the paddy stubble, which is the remaining part of harvested crop. But the number of machines are being increased to generate 600 MW electricity from it, Lal told PTI. Public sector company National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and some private sector firms have also shown an interest in the project, he claimed.
The EPCA will activate over 20 stations in Delhi-NCR by October 20, to keep a check on air quality of the region. It is also planning to establish nearly 13 stations in Haryana and 10 in the districts of Uttar Pradesh which fall under NCR, Bura said. A Graded Response Action Plan notified by the environment ministry has to be implemented and in this regard the Badarpur Thermal Power Station will be closed after October 15, he said.