THE LARGEST solar power project in Punjab was commissioned at Jaga Ram Teerath village in Talwandi Sabo in Bathinda district by Union Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
After inaugurating the 32 MW plant in the presence of Renewable Energy Minister Bikram Singh Majithia, Harsimrat said Punjab was the first state in the country to work out a diversification scheme which had turned farmers into green energy entrepreneurs.
She said Punjab would target development at least 15 green energy entrepreneurs per block within the next five years ensuring 10 percent of the state’s energy requirement is fulfilled through green energy.
The Union Minister also promised to take up issues plaguing farmers of the Malwa region with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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“Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has announced a huge compensation package (Rs 643 crore) for farmers whose cotton crop had been damaged by the whitefly attack. Though the extent of loss in Punjab is less as compared to Haryana and Rajasthan, Punjab is paying the maximum compensation to its farmers,” she said, adding that Punjab had increased the per acre compensation from Rs 3,000 to Rs 8,000.
Speaking on the occasion, Bikram Singh Majithia said the Punjab government was coming up with a new scheme under which farmers could themselves set up solar power projects on their own land in collaboration with corporations.
He said under this scheme a MoU would be signed for a period of 25 years and the farmers and corporations would have a 50:50 partnership.
He said to boost this scheme, the Punjab government would even give subsidy and around 500MW capacity projects would be allocated to farmers.