Dr Raman Singh urges Centre to declare bio-diesel policy
Chhattisgarh for bio-diesel vehicles
By Deepak Kumar Rath
Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Dr Raman Singh has urged the Central Government to declare bio-diesel policy at the earliest. He said bio-diesel could play a crucial role in the state'seconomy as well as in improving the financial condition of farmers. Dr Singh while talking to Organiser said that Jatropha cultivation could enable Chhattisgarh to become the first state of the nation to completely replace diesel with bio-diesel in the next ten years. He informed that the Government of Chhattisgarh was working on an action plan and in the next ten years Chhattisgarh would have cent per cent bio-diesel-fuelled vehicles. He also informed that for the last 70 days his bio-diesel-fuelled vehicle had been running without any impediments. Dr Singh said that in the next one and half months, the first bio-diesel plant of the state would be ready in Raipur. Pointing out that President of India Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam would be invited for the inaugural ceremony, he said that low cost bio-diesel plants would also be set up at block headquarters. The plants could be set up for just Rs. 1.10 lakh. He informed that bio-diesel extraction technique was simple and cheap and farmers could extract bio-diesel at their homes. Dr Singh said after Brazil, Chhattisgarh could possibly be the only state to opt for bio-diesel vehicles. For this, Jatropha cultivation programme had been prepared in ten to twenty lakh hectares of barren land, Dr Singh said and clarified that Jatropha could not be an alternative to rice or pulses but could be a means for proper use of barren land and play a crucial role in preventing soil erosion. Stating that it could become a means for additional income for farmers of the state, he said forest committees and self-help groups would be involved in collection of Jatropha seeds. Dr Singh informed that the Government of Chhattisgarh would assist private investors in cultivation of Jatropha. He said the objective of the government was to provide better financial condition to farmers via Jatropha. He further said private companies would provide technical assistance to farmers, guarantee purchase of Jatropha as well as assist in crop insurance and finance.