Union Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday announced a new plant to produce ethanol to be set up in Bathinda with an outlay of Rs 500 crore.
The minister said that the foundation stone of the plant will be laid in the next 15 days.
Pradhan, while addressing gathering in Ludhiana, said this plant will convert the paddy residue into ethanol and said that this will not only provide an additional income to the farmers but also save the state from the pollution created by the stubble burning.
Pradhan, who was on a day-long tour in Punjab, said that he would himself lay the foundation stone of the plant.
Speaking on this occasion, Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal said the plant at a cost of Rs 500 crore which would be established at Bathinda with assistance with the Union ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, would make bio-fuel from the residue of paddy crop.
Terming it as a remarkable initiative, Sukhbir said that this would put a stop to the burning of paddy which in turn would lead to reduction of pollution level in the environment.
Divulging more, he said that the stress would be on establishing these plants in every district in league with the private players and the modalities would be worked out soon.
He also said that this unique measure would also result in the farmers getting richer by Rs 3,000-4,000 per acre.
Union minister on this occasion, symbolically distributed free LPG connections to 12 women belonging to BPL and SC / ST families.
He also said that all the remaining LPG connections will be allotted to the consumers of Punjab in the next 50 days. Thus Punjab will be the first state in the country having hundred per cent cooking gas connections .
On this occasion, Sukhbir launched the ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna’ in the state and distributed LPG gas connections and stoves to the women belonging to the BPL families.
Meanwhile, Pradhan inaugurated the first CNG station of Punjab at an lndian Oil petrol pump in Sector 56, Mohali, and the first CNG station of Chandigarh at an lndianOil petrol pump in Sector 44.
Besides, he also lit the first PNG (piped natural gas) connection at EWS Society of Sector 46, Chandigarh; in the presence of Vijay Sampla, Union Minister of State, Social Justice & Empowerment, MPs Kirron Kher, Prem Singh Chandumajra.