To manage the crop residue and prevent straw burning, Haryana government on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to setup a 100 kilolitre per day Ethanol Plant (bio-refinery) at Bohali village, in Panipat at an expense of over Rs 900 crore.

The MoU was signed by director, Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department, Dusmanta K Behera on behalf of Haryana government and chief general manager, Alternate Energy and Sustainable Development, IOC, Sanjay Kumar Srivastav on behalf of the corporation.

On this occasion, the Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare minister, OP Dhankar expressed his gratitude to Union minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan for making this proposal a reality.

Dhankar told the OIC officers that there are 10 co-operative sugar mills and three private sugar mills in Haryana. These mills would provide the raw fuel to this plant.

He told that paddy crop residue season is coming in October and November and after that sugarcane crop residue season will come. Thus there will be regular supply of raw material to this plant. It is a great initiative by IOC which would not only fulfill the demand of ethanol but also bio-fuels for consumers of petroleum product, he said.

The minister said that Haryana is the first state as compared to Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab to find out a solution to remove the thick smoke in the Delhi Area caused by straw burning.

As per the agreement, this signing would be valid for one year. The Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare department would motivate the farmers or groups of farmers in the 50 km radius of this plant to provide crop residue or feedstock on regular basis as raw material to this plant. For this a joint Co-ordination team would also be formed.