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Special cell to promote bio-diesel

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The Union Rural Development Ministry, the nodal ministry for implementation of the National Mission of Bio-diesel, has constituted a special cell in the Department of Land Resources to take up the ambitious programme of promoting bio-diesel in the country.

Reviewing the performance of the Mission here, Union Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh emphasised the need for immediate launching of jatropha plantation programme in a big way. He said other varieties of bio-diesel plants such as pingomia should also be promoted.

The Planning Commission had initially set up a sub-committee on Development of Bio-diesel which submitted its report based on which a detailed project report was prepared by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The tentative project cost was Rs 2,000 crores for coverage of 2 lakh hectares of forest land and 2 lakh hectares of non-forest waste land. This project is under consideration by the Commission.

The Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Karnataka have so far proposed taking up the jatropha plantation in a big way in forest and non-forest lands. These Governments have tentatively suggested taking up plantation in 11 lakh hectares.

The State Governments have further furnished information about key areas on bio-diesel including availability of jatropha cultivation, seed requirement and research and development.

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