To ensure environmental purity and to safeguard the women in rural households from harmful effects of cooking on traditional chullahs, the Punjab Energy Development Agency started the Bio Gas initiative in the state which is in full swing. Maximum rural and semi urban households are being brought under the ambit of the scheme. It is economically viable and eco- friendly.Disclosing this, the Power and Renewable Energy Minister, Punjab, Mr. Gurpreet Singh Kangar said that the National Bio Gas and Manure Management is a centrally sponsored scheme and is garnering good response in the State. It is an energy- efficient and cost-effective form of fuel generation. Under this scheme people from rural and semi urban households are facilitated to set up bio gas plants of 4-6 cubic meter .Since 1994-95 PEDA has set up 1,75,000 bio gas plants which are running successfully. By switching over to these bio gas plants almost 2100 tons of wood traditionally used as fuel is saved and lakhs of trees are salvaged from being axed. Under this scheme PEDA has set up 3050 bio gas plants in 2017-18.
The CEO of PEDA Mr. N.P.S. Randhawa said that cost incurred for bio gas plants of 4-6 cubic meter is approximately between Rs. 35,000 to Rs.40,000 but out of this Rs. 9,000 to general category and Rs. 11,000 to Scheduled Castes is given as subsidy. To set up a bio gas plant for domestic usage, PEDA District Manager can be contacted in the office of ADC development.Mr. Randhawa also informed that under this scheme Rs. 1500 per bio gas plant are given to Swai Rozgar Workers who in turn train and encourage people to set up these plants. Nearly 150 workers are currently working in the State for imparting training and motivating people to set up these plants. Additionally, employment has been generated for almost 300 skilled labourers who set up these plants. He said that women who use traditional methods of cooking (chullah) inhale smoke equivalent to smoking 10 cigarettes per day. So, the bio gas can prove to be a viable alternative to traditional forms of cooking in the low-income households. Besides, it keeps the kitchen clean and healthy and keeps cancer at bay.