The power sector has set a revised policy for the use of biomass particles in coal-fired thermal power plants, encouraging the use of agricultural waste, which is otherwise burned by farmers, thus causing air pollution.
The decision, announced on Friday, will force three types of thermal power plants to use a mixture of five per cent bio-particles with coal.
The policy, which will take effect in October 2022, is expected to increase the bioavailability rate for the two types of power plants to seven per cent within two years.
“The policy of incorporating biomaterials will remain in place for 25 years or until the effective life of the thermal power plant, whichever is earlier,” the Ministry of Power said in a statement.
Severe air pollution is caused by farmers in some northern Indian states preparing the land for planting by burning large quantities of paddy stalks and straw in winter.
The sharp increases in air pollution during that season often lead to a smog in northern India every year.