Fearing farmers’ wrath, the Punjab government kept the inauguration ceremony of the state’s largest solar project a lowkey affair as only a handful of supporters of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) were invited to attend the function at Jaga Ram Tirath village, 40 km from Bathinda.
Both union minister for food processing industry and member of Parliament from Bathinda Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Punjab renewable energy minister Bikram Singh Majithia inaugurated the 32-MW plant set up by the Welspun Solar Punjab Private Limited.
Even the residents of the village, where the project has been commissioned, were not invited. Some unidentified people had torn off photographs of both Majithina and Harsimrat from the banners.
The banners were replaced immediately and the police remained extra vigilant throughout the day on Thursday.
Speaking on the occasion, Majithia said the government was coming up with a new scheme under which farmers could themselves set up solar power projects on their land in collaboration with corporates. “Under this scheme, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) would be signed for a period of 25 years and farmers and corporates would have a 50:50 partnership. Moreover, around 500-MW capacity projects would be allocated to farmers,” Majithia said.