Raipur, Oct 12 (IANS) The Indian Oil Corporation has proposed planting jatropha and karanj, sources of biofuel, on 100,000 hectares in Chhattisgarh, said a top government official.
India's largest oil refining and marketing company made the proposal earlier this week.
'It said it wanted to produce 100,000 tonnes of bio-diesel from Chhattisgarh and was keen to work in tandem with the state government to raise jatropha and karanj plants in 100,000 hectares,' said an official in the Chhattisgarh Biofuel Development Authority (CBDA).
The proposal to Chief Secretary R.P. Bagai said the company was willing to team up with the state government to identify areas for jatropha plantations as well as site for bio-diesel production plants.
A recent cabinet meeting decided to allow only those companies that would form joint ventures with the state government into the bio-diesel sector.
'The jatropha plantations and bio-diesel production in 100,000 hectares will create direct employment for 33,000 farmers and their families will earn a whopping sum of Rs.2 billion through commercial use of bio-diesel products,' a CBDA official said.
The Chhattisgarh government has announced that it would plant 160 million saplings across all the 16 districts in the current fiscal year. It also plans to take up an exhaustive jatropha plantation programme on a million hectares of fallow land by 2012.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has said his government wants to replace imported diesel with jatropha fuel in all state-owned vehicles by 2007.