Chandigarh, July 11, 2018: Less than 24 hours after the matter was brought to his notice, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday cleared a German company’s project for setting up a Rs.100 Crore bio-gas CNG plant, which had been lying in cold storage for the past three years.
Though the erstwhile SAD-BJP government had signed the MoU in 2015, it had failed to give the necessary clearances to the company, Verbio, said an official spokesperson, adding that Captain Amarinder Singh took immediate cognizance of the matter the moment it was brought to his notice last evening.
The Chief Minister handed over the approval letter to Verbio director Oliver Luetdke, at a meeting here with the company’s officials.
Besides giving the go-ahead to the Rs.100 crore plant, to be set up at Bhutal Kalan in Lehragaga block of Sangrur, the Chief Minister also gave in-principle approval for nine more such plants to come up in other parts of the state at an additional investment of Rs.900 crores, with direct employment potential of over 5,000 persons, said the spokesperson.
He directed Invest Punjab to give immediate clearances to these nine projects, subject to them being the same as the Bhutal Kalan one, as and when they are put up by the company.
The plant to be come up at Bhutal Kalan would produce 33,000 Kg of bio-CNG and 45,000 tons of organic manure annually. With the commissioning of nine other plants having same capacity to produce bio-CNG and organic manure, the production of both these products would multiply manifold, enabling the state to tackle the menace of air pollution caused by stubble burning to a significant extent.
The Chief Minister expressed the hope that the project would be instrumental in ensuring remunerative price of bio-waste, especially paddy stubble, for the farmer. He said the state had approximately 20 million tons of paddy stubble which could be utilised for the production of bio-CNG and green manure.
Responding to the delegation’s request, the Chief Minister directed his Chief Principal Secretary to take up their case with the Vice-Chancellor PAU for getting clearance for the production of organic manure. He also asked the CPS to take up with the Government of India the issue of grant of permission for the company to set-up a bio-CNG station in Patiala.
Captain Amarinder Singh also asked Verbio to explore the possibility of utilising the state’s huge stock of sugarcane bagasse for the generation of bio-CNG and organic manure since the company had vast expertise and proven technology in this field too.
Expressing deep concern over the loss of soil fertility due to overuse of chemical fertilisers, Captain Amarinder Singh said that the farmers should make aggressive use of organic manure as it would not only enhance the quality of soil and its texture but also result in higher yield and enhanced income for the farmers’ produce. He asked the Cooperation department to tie up with all the cooperative societies at village level to promote the sale of green manure.
The meeting was attended, amongst others, by Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Suresh Kumar, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, CEO Invest Punjab Rajat Aggarwal, Additional Principal Secretary to CM Girish Dyalan, Chief Executive Officer National Rainfed Area Authority (NRAA) Dr. J.S. Samra. The delegation was also represented by Project Developer Andreas Rembold, and Project Manager Yuvraj Verma.