In Punjab, residents of several villages in Moga district were facing the problem of power cuts till a few years ago, but now some progressive farmers of Channuwala, Badhni Kalan, Kapoore and Daya Kalan villages have come forward for installing biogas plants thereby generating electricity for village water works.
In a bid to popularise non-conventional energy resources, the Punjab government has announced subsidy bonanza under different schemes of the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA). Moga Deputy Commissioner Arshdeep Singh Thind said the government was providing subsidy of Rs 8,000 on a small biogas plant and 700 such plants had been set up in the district.
Thind said that the government started this as a pilot project at Channuwala and now it has become a role model. Besides, two big biogas plants having capacity of 150-200 cubic metres were also being installed at Channuwala and Badhni Kalan villages. These plants would also generate 25 KV of electricity. Proposal for two other similar biogas plants at Kapoore and Daiya villages of the district had also been cleared.
On the other hand, as residents of Channuwala village started installing biogas plants, the major problem was shortage of cowdung, which was necessary to run the project. A progressive farmer, Jatinder Singh Bittu of this village stepped forward and bought 150 cows. The cowdung is now helping to generate uninterrupted electricity at a biogas plant at Channuwala. According to the district administration, the population of Channuwala is about 4,000, while more than 1,000 poor people live in the outer area of the village.
Underprivileged people have benefited the most from the scheme. The generator, which runs on biogas, also helps operate water pumps thus bringing water to all houses in the village.