Monday, September 10, 2018

How Chhattisgarh fuelled a green flight

Raipur: In Chhattisgarh’s Ghatbehra village, Sohraj Singh Kanwar has been growing jatropha for a decade. “We heard that a plane flew on jatropha oil,” he says, adding, “The seeds came from these fields.”

Seeds from these fields are sent to a biofuel plant in Raipur, run by Chhattisgarh Bio-Diesel Authority (CBDA), where oil is extracted and sent to Dehradun-based Indian Institute of Petroleum, which developed the biofuel.

Jatropha plantation was launched in Ghatbehra, a village of 600 people in Pendra tehsil of Bilaspur, about 13 years ago. “Finally, we are seeing the benefit of growing this crop. We hope its demand will increase,” says Kanwar.

Farmers planted jatropha alongside traditional crops in the late-2000s, after the BJP came to power in 2003 and CM Raman Singh launched a campaign to promote jatropha cultivation with the aim to become India’s bio-fuel hub.
10/09/18 Rashmi Drolia/Times of India