Punjab Current Affairs

World’s largest Single Rooftop Solar Power Plant inaugurated in Amritsar

World’s largest single rooftop solar power plant of 11.5 MegaWatt (MW) capacity was inaugurated at Dera Baba Jaimal Singh in Beas near Amritsar in Punjab.

This is the largest Solar Power Plant spread over 82 acres of rooftop in single campus on multiple roofs with installed capacity of 19.5 MW.

Key facts

  • The plant has been set up with the cost of 139 crore rupees and would generate clean and green energy sufficient to power approximately 8,000 homes.
  • It will also help in abating 4-lakh tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the next 25 years.
  • The clean power produced from this plant will be purchased by the Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) as per the power purchase agreement signed Dera for 25 years.
  • The first phase (7.5 MW) of this project was launched in September 2013 and was synchronised with the grid in April 2014.
  • Later, the second phase (12 MW) was launched in February 2015 and synchronised in December 2015.

Besides, seven rooftop solar power plants of 8MW capacity were also inaugurated in Beas Dera campus. With this it becomes the highest single campus generating solar power of 19.5 MW at multiple rooftops in the country.

Currently, Punjab is generating 470 MW of solar power and projects of 500 MW capacities are in the pipeline. On completion of these projects, state would be able to generate solar power of close to 1,000 MW by the end of FY 2016-17.


Indian Railways ink MoU with Haryana and Punjab to plant trees alongside Railway Track

The Union Ministry of Railways and Forest Department of Haryana & Punjab have inked Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for plantation of trees alongside Railway Track on Railway Land Boundary.

The MoU paves way for planting around 5 lakh trees alongside Railway Track on Railway Land Boundary prior to Monsoon Season.

Key facts

  • This agreement paves way improvements with regard to afforestation on railway land.
  • With this Indian Railways can contribute substantially towards the Green India Mission.
  • Forest department of respective states will provide expertise in afforestation as well as in maintenance and disposal of trees.
  • The afforestation will help in protecting railway land from illegal encroachment.
  • Tree plantation will be done without declaring such land as protected forest, thus it will be no hindrance to railway works and developmental projects.

Union Ministry of Railways has asked all Zonal railways to execute similar agreement between their zones and concerned State Forest departments as early as possible.


Punjab Assembly passes Agriculture Indebtedness Bill, 2016

Punjab Legislative Assembly has passed Punjab Settlement of Agriculture Indebtedness Bill, 2016.

The Bill seeks to provide relief to agriculturists, labourers and others dependent on agriculture by providing them fair settlement of their debt related disputes. It also deals with expeditious determination and settlement of non-institutional agricultural debt.

Key features of bill

  • It establishes district-level agricultural debt settlement forums and a state-level agricultural debt settlement tribunal to help farmers reconcile and settle their non-institutional debts.
  • Government will prescribe a maximum rate of interest which can be charged by the creditors on non-institutional loans provided by them.
  • Jurisdiction of civil courts has been barred and all pending disputes in the civil courts will be transferred to these forums from the date the Act is notified.
  • Each creditor will issue an authenticated passbook to the debtor and the proceedings before the forum and the tribunal will be judicial proceedings.
  • The forum will decide the dispute within three months. Both the forum and tribunal will have a three-year term.
  • Any debtor or creditor of agricultural loan can file a petition before the district-level forum for settlement of their debt.
  • If they are aggrieved with the order of the forum, then they can file an appeal before the state-level tribunal. The forum can settle agricultural loans up to 15 lakh rupees.