The Punjab Cabinet led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday gave in-principle approval for setting up of a compressed bio gas plant by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd at the now closed Cooperative Sugar Mills at Rakhra in Patiala district.
The plant, to be developed in collaboration with Sugarfed, will help reduce stubble burning through use of paddy straw for bio gas generation, besides nurturing soil fertility through organic manure production.
The Cabinet also authorised the Cooperation Minister to settle all terms and conditions, including that of land lease agreement in respect of 25 acres or more area of the closed sugar mill, to be provided to Indian Oil Corporation for setting up the plant.
The minister has been authorised to decide on the lease terms and conditions with the approval of the Chief Minister.
According to a spokesperson for the Chief Minister’s Office, the upcoming plant, which will create direct and indirect employment opportunities, will have a capacity of 30 tonnnes of compressed bio gas production, with daily feedstock capacity of approximately 300 tonnes of paddy straw, per day.
It would also generate organic manure to the tune of approximately 75,000 tonnes per annum.
Moreover, the facility being environment-friendly with the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 98 per cent, it would help minimise dependency on fossil fuels, and thus become a major contributor to promoting circular economy.
The plant would also be instrumental in reducing stubble burning in fields, thereby containing air pollution in Punjab, besides considerably helping in improving the general living conditions.
It will also thus help in augmenting the savings of farmers, as well as in restoring soil fertility and carbon content.