Self help groups and Mahila Mangal Dals being provided Rs 1 for every kg of dry pine needles
In an encouraging sign for the Uttarakhand government’s endeavour to promote commercial usage of Pirul (dry pine needles), the entrepreneurs who have started projects to generate power from Pirul have so far collected 240 metric tonnes of dry pine needles. The development is significant since it was only on June 5 this year, that the chief minister of Uttarakhand Trivendra Singh Rawat had handed over Letter of Award ( LoA) for their Pirul based projects to 21 entrepreneurs. At present Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) between the forest department, Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (UREDA) and entrepreneurs concerned are being entered into. The Secretary, Power Radhika Jha said 12 MoU have so far been signed and the Uttarakhand Power Corporation Limited (UPCL) has started the process of Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with the entrepreneurs. Under this agreement the UPCL would purchase the power produced by these Pirul based units. She added that a decision to collect Pirul from self help groups, Mahila Mangal Dals and Van Panchayats has been taken and for it a payment of Rs 1 for every kilogramme of Pirul would be made. Apart from reducing forest fires, it would also help in providing employment, she opined.
Jha informed that the state government has decided that the entrepreneurs interested to set up Pirul based plants would be provided loans without collateral security. On her part the secretary Power has instructed all the district magistrates to provide areas for collection of Pirul and help in getting NOCs from department concerned for the entrepreneurs selected under Pirul policy.
It is pertinent to mention here that the Pirul policy was released by the state government in August last year. In February this year, applications were invited for setting up projects based on Pirul.
On the proposal 20 entrepreneurs expressed interest to set up power projects while one decided to set to briquette based project.
It is estimated that about 2.25 MT of pine needles will be required annually for operation of a 25 KW pine needles based power project. The estimated cost of a 25 KW project is about Rs 25 lakh and is capable of generating 1.4 lakh units annually.
Pine trees occupy a space of 4 lakh hectares of land in the state and cover 16.36 percent of total forest area of Uttarakhand. Experts opine that the state has a total power production potential of over 150 MW from available pine needles and other biomass.
Saturday, 06 July 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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