Union petroleum and natural gas minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Friday announced that ten projects would be set up in Punjab to produce ethanol fuel from crop stubble.
Addressing a gathering after launching the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana here along with deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, Pradhan said the Centre and the state government would soon sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in this regard.
He said the first such project would be set up at Bathinda at a cost of Rs 500 crore and its foundation stone would be laid after two weeks.
The minister said these ethanol units would reduce the country’s dependence on Arabian and Central Asian countries for fuel requirement.
“Punjab produces more than 50 lakh-tonne crop stubble in a season, which would be used as a raw material for ethanol fuel units. Around 500 tonnes of paddy straw can earn farmers up to Rs 30 crore per year by producing ethanol. Hence, these units will not only reduce pollution, but also increase the income of farmers,” he added.
Talking to mediapersons, Sukhbir said these fuel projects would give a big boost to the economy of the state as the farmers of Punjab would get an additional income of Rs 4,000 crore from crop stubble.