Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fazilka emerging energy hub

Praful Chander Nagpal

Fazilka, October 23
The border town of Fazilka, which shot to limelight after it was elected by Czech Republic magazine "Carbuster" as the first Asian town for adopting energy saving practices to fight global warming, is all set to emerge as the energy hub of the state.

According to the facts compiled by Graduate Welfare Association (GWAF) here, the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA), in collaboration with a German company, the Moser Baer Photovoltaic Limited, would install 5-MW solar energy plant in Fazilka. The energy so produced would be environment friendly. The project, likely to be completed within two years, would meet the power requirements of about one lakh residents of this town and that too at cheaper rates.

The PEDA has also taken up an initiative of generating power from residue of sugar mills. Meanwhile, it has floated tenders for generating power from waste of Fazilka Cooperative Sugar Mills.

The construction of the US $ 3.5 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) is likely to start in near future. Fazilka is expected to be established as a distribution point of the TAPI project, which would give further impetus to make it the energy hub.

The town has also emerged on the world map by adopting a unique system of making available cycle-rickshaws (ECOCABS) on call. Four telephone centres have been set up for the purpose. The system is running successfully. Moreover, for security reasons, the Indian defence forces stationed at Fazilka have recently planted more than 10,000 saplings, including 3,000 Sheesham saplings given by the progressive farmers of Fazilka.

While emerging on the energy front, the farmers of this area are also availing services of the Agricultural Equipment Bank set up by Vikram Ahuja, a young entrepreneur of this town.

The Malwa Water Management System developed by Ahuja is also likely to save 7.5 billion litres of water annually in Fazilka and its surrounding areas.

The farmers are also being apprised of the latest techniques to conserve water. Besides, drip irrigation system is also being promoted in the region.

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