Nikhila Pant Dhawan
Tribune News Service
Bathinda, November 8
The bioethanol plant, which was scheduled to be set up at Nasibpura village in Talwandi Sabo to solve the issue of paddy stubble burning and the pollution caused due to it, is yet to come up. The plant was to use farm waste paddy stubble as bio-fuel in its functioning, thereby paying farmers for the farm refuse that they set on fire.
In December last year, the district administration had identified 40 acres of land at Nasibpura village wherein Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) was to set up the bioethanol plant. HPCL representatives had even visited the land and approved it after ensuring that the piece of land met all their requirements. The site was identified and selected as it was in close proximity to paddy producing areas.
After discussing with the village panchayat and at the meeting of district-level Price Meeting Committee, the rate of land to be acquired was fixed at Rs 45,000 per acre per year with further increment as per the government policy in December 2016.
Elaborating on the reason behind the delay, Deputy Commissioner Diprava Lakra said the project was delayed by a year as more land was required to set up the plant. “After the HPCL sought environmental clearance for the project, it was directed to add 11-12 acres land. The refinery then sent a proposal to the Bathinda district administration to see if 11-12 acres more could be acquired adjacent to the existing site of the plant.”
“Now, we have selected and got approval for more land. A fresh proposal will now be sent to the state government for setting up the plant. We are hoping that the process of setting up the plant would begin soon,” the DC said.
It is pertinent to mention here that the aim of setting up the plant was to curtail the practice of burning paddy stubble in the state which causes severe atmospheric pollution. The then Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori had stated that with the setting up of this plant the paddy cultivators will not have to burn paddy stubble, which poses a major pollution challenge. Instead, farmers’ income is expected to be supplemented as they will be paid for the farm refuse. This environment-friendly plant would go a long way in ensuring that the farm waste finds proper utilisation and the same does not create pollution.
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