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Through the various efforts under the Central Sector Scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the State of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh & NCT of Delhi’ the satellite data indicates that paddy residue burning events have reduced by 29.5 percent, 24.5 percent and 11.0 percent in the States of Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, respectively when compared with the paddy residue burning events in the year 2017.
The Ministry of Power had brought out a policy for biomass utilization for power generation through co-firing in pulverized coal fired boilers in November 2017. As per the policy, all fluidized bed and pulverized coal units (coal based thermal power plants) except those having ball and tube mill, of power generating utilities, public or private, located in India, shall endeavor to use 5-10% blend of biomass pellets made, primarily of agro residue along with coal after assessing the technical feasibility viz. safety aspects etc. In line with the policy Central Electricity Authority (CEA) had issued an advisory to all concerned State Governments, power Plants utilities, power equipment manufacturers and other stakeholders to promote use of biomass pellets.
The Ministry of Power in a meeting held on 15.11.2018 has decided that the States of Haryana and Punjab shall issue bids for all coal based Thermal Power Plants to use minimum 5 percent of biomass pellets and upto 10 percent to be co-fired with coal.
In pursuance to Budget 2018 announcement regarding a special Scheme to support the efforts of the governments of Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and the NCT of Delhi to address air pollution and to subsidize machinery required for in-situ management of crop residue, a new Central Sector Scheme on ‘Promotion of Agricultural Mechanization for In-Situ Management of Crop Residue in the States of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and NCT of Delhi’ for the period from 2018-19 to 2019-20 has also been launched with the total outgo from the Central funds of Rs. 1151.80 crore (Rs. 591.65 crore in 2018-19 and Rs. 560.15 crore in 2019-20).
During 2018-19, the funds amounting to Rs. 269.38 crores, Rs.137.84 crores and Rs. 148.60 crores have been released to the Government of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh respectively for distribution of in-situ crop residue management machinery to the farmers on subsidy, establishment of Custom Hiring Centres (CHCs) of in-situ crop residue management machinery and undertaking Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities for creating awareness among farmers.
This information was given by Minister of State for Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Shri Parshottam Rupala.