Shortage of diesel fuel may no longer be a problem in Uttar Pradesh in the coming five years. The state government is has developed a plan to turn wastelands throughout the state into bio-diesel farms by cultivating Jatropha on over 40 per cent of the total wasteland in Uttar Pradesh.
According to the State Jatropha Mission Cell sources, the state government had formed a joint venture with Bharat Petroleum Ltd in the name of Bharat Renewable Energy Ltd (BREL), which will be investing Rs. 2,031 crores in 30 districts of the state towards bio-diesel production.
The new company will be responsible for production, procurement, cultivation, plantation of horticulture crops such as Jathropa, Pongamia, trading research and development and management of all crops and plantation including biofuels in Uttar Pradesh.
In all, sources claimed, 15.86 lakh hectares of wasteland had been marked for cultivation of Jatropha in the state and in Agra alone, 26721 hectares wasteland had been set aside for bio-diesel cultivation.
A target has been fixed by the state government to bring atleast 40 per cent of the total allocated wasteland under Jatropha cultivation within the coming five years.
According to the sources, contrary to the government policies so far, the wasteland will not be taken over by the government. Instead, the farmers will be allotted land for cultivating Jatropha by the village panchayats in association with BREL and the company will provide all necessary technical assistance to the farmers to facilitate a good crop.