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Stubble burning may come to an end

Punjab pursues centre to provide Viability Gap Funding (VGF) for Biomass Power Projects and Biomass Solar Hybrid Power Projects. An optimal framework, guidelines, framing of scheme is required for promoting biomass power projects. Punjab state also proposes for installing the power plants exclusively based on the agro residue (paddy straw) and integrated residue collection system, which shall be backed with grant/subsidy from MNRE. The subsidy shall be linked to the operation of the plant, i.e. it should be ensured that these plants consume the committed amount of agro residue.

Tariff set by PSERC for biomass is Rs. 8.64/Kwh and average power purchase cost (APPC) cost for discom is Rs. 4.30/Kwh. ie. a gap of Rs. 3.64/Kwh is required to be addressed through provision of VGF.

Punjab being an agriculture state produces about 20 million tons of paddy straw every year, and out of this, 7.5 million tons is utilized in domestic industry, while the remaining 12.5 million tons of biomass is sufficient to power  1250 MW. This is poised to keep a check on stubble burning in Punjab state and would also help the state to address the problem of pollution.