Chandigarh, Dec 18 : In a major initiative to cut down stubble burning, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday virtually inaugurated the country’s first paddy straw-based briquetting plant with a capacity of 100 tonnes per day.
Calling it an overdue initiative, the Chief Minister said the new technology will not only help check environmental pollution through gainful utilization of straw but will also enable farmers, especially small farmers, earn extra income from the sale of the stubble.
Confident that more such plants would come up in the future to ease Punjab’s stubble burning problem, he said the low calorific value of 3,500 for briquettes, compared to 7,000 for coal, is amply balanced out economically since coal costs Rs 10,000 per ton as against Rs 4,500 per ton for briquette.
Further, with oil becoming expensive, this is also a more viable source of energy, he added.
The plant has been set up at Kulburchan village in Patiala district, at a capital cost of Rs 5.50 crore, by Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) in collaboration with private partner Punjab Renewable Energy Systems Pvt Ltd with the support of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change under the Climate Change Action Programme.
Lauding the efforts of scientists, farmers and farm equipment manufacturers to make India self-reliant in food production, the Chief Minister said with this new technological intervention, paddy straw from around 40 villages in the plant’s vicinity will be converted to green fuel.
The plant will utilize 45,000 ton paddy straw and would help replace fossil fuel in industries, thus resulting in carbon footprint reduction to the tune of 78,000 ton CO2.
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.