The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, June 23
Punjab Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal today said that the shutting down of the loss-making and smoke-spewing Bathinda Thermal Plant will provide a windfall for Punjab, paving the way for the creation of the largest industrial park in Punjab. Addressing the media people during a press conference today, the FM said that while the Bathinda Thermal Plant was shut down three years ago due to environmental, economic, and administrative issues, the recently approved plan will revitalize and rejuvenate the economy of Southern Punjab.
The Finance Minister also invited companies that are relocating from China to invest in the new Bathinda Industrial Complex, stating that this will emerge as another industrial hub. Additionally, Bathinda city will gain 164 acres of water bodies and lakes that were earlier a part of the thermal plant. Similarly, the vacant power colony that stretches across 280 acres will accommodate the entire city and police lines. Moreover, Bathinda residents are already breathing free of pollution spewed by the coal power plants, he said.
The Ministry of Forests has already asked thermal plants to install Flue-Gas Desulfurization, Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM), and mercury control equipment, failing which they would have to pay a daily penalty of 18 lakh per day. The state would have to pay this additional penalty. Moreover, after closing down the thermal plant, not a single employee- be it regular or contractual- was retrenched; and all employees were accommodated, he categorically said.