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Stubble trouble: Ethanol, biogas plants on anvil in Panipat, Kaithal

As Haryana is struggling hard to deal with stubble-burning, an ethanol plant, which is under construction in Panipat, and a compressed biogas plant proposed to come up in Kaithal’s Kailram village are being seen as a game-changer in managing stubble.

Agricultural experts say the plants will serve two purposes — discourage farmers from burning stubble and encourage clean fuel generation.

At present, custom hiring centres collect straw from farmers and sell it to industries after making bales. Farmers get Rs 160 per quintal. Once the two plants start functioning, farmers and custom hiring centres will get higher prices for straw,” said Karam Chand, Deputy Director, Agriculture (DDA), Kaithal.

The ethanol plant, a venture of Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), will begin processing in April 2022. As for the compressed biogas plant, land has been finalised. The construction is expected to start soon.

The IOCL plant, being constructed at a cost of Rs 766 crore, will utilise around 2.2 lakh tonnes of straw, which will be converted into ethanol, a renewable fuel.

“The daily capacity of the biogas plant, to be constructed at a cost of Rs 100 crore, will be 10 tonnes, for which around 100 tonnes of straw will be required,” Kaithal DC Pradeep Dahiya said, adding the project would be commissioned in a year.

Kaithal generates around 9.61 lakh tonnes of paddy straw, of which around 4.41 lakh tonnes is utilised through the ex-situ management by industrial units and around 2.34 lakh is processed by custom hiring centres.

“The biogas plant will help in utilising the straw through the ex-situ method. The government is extending support to farmers for stubble management,” added Dahiya.

Aditya Dabas, DDA, Panipat, said: “Karnal generates around six lakh tonnes of paddy straw every season, of which around two lakh tonnes are used in nine industrial units. Another two lakh tonnes are decomposed by farmers in the soil. The remaining straw will be used in the IOCL plant once it is starts functioning.”

Virender Arya, DDA Panipat, said Panipat generated around 3.75 lakh straw in a paddy season, most of which is used by farmers through the in-situ and ex-situ methods. Several farmers process it and sell it to UP farmers.

This year, Haryana has reported fewer number of stubble-burning cases. The data shows that the state witnessed 5,993 active fire locations from September 15 to November 16 this year. The number was 9,040 during the corresponding period last year.

Straw burning cases this season

1,137 Kaithal 933 Karnal 188 Panipat

Ethanol plant

IOCL’s venture in Panipat

Rs766 crore project cost

Biogas plant

Kaithal’s Kailram village

Rs100 crore project cost

Challan drive in Sonepat

Sonepat: A naka near Maharana Pratap Chowk here was installed to check polluting vehicles. Around 350 vehicles were checked, out of which 22 found violating NGT norms were impounded. Besides, 24 vehicles were challaned during the drive, which will continue for six more days. TNS

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