TN receives Rs150-crore central assistance for bio fuel production

New Delhi: Chennai: Of the Rs1,200 crore allotted by the centre for equal distribution amongst eight states for the cultivation of Jathropha plants and later extraction of oil (popularly known as bio-diesel) Tamil Nadu will receive Rs150 crore. It may be recalled that in 2003 the centre had allowed five per cent blending of petrol with ethanol.

In its attempt to turn 20-lakh hectares of wasteland productive and to prevent other land from turning fallow, the Tamil Nadu government is promoting the cultivation of sweet sorghum for for blending with petrol and Jathropha for bio-diesel.

According to the state agricultural special secretary, R Rajagopal, the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University has developed a Jathropha seed variety that could yield 45-tonne per hectare, which yields six litres of ethanol. "Our focus is on crops that consume less water," he explained