Shimla (June 15): Congress grass and pine needles causing problems for farmers in Himachal would now be put to productive use by generating bio-energy. A proposal to this effect has been offered by the BJP National Bio-energy Cell to the state government.
“The state government is very enthusiastic about 100 KW plant being set up in the state and offered lantana grass (Congress grass) and pine needles, free of cost, for the project while the project authorities would purchase grass collected by the farmer,” said Anna Saheb MK Patil, convener of the cell.
Himachal has 418 MW bio-mass electricity generation potential and bio-mass plants with capacity ranging between 100 KW and 1-MW could be set
up in the state to utilize the bio mass waste. Anna said that BJP national president Nitin Gadkari had submitted the blue print of bio-mass energy and fuel project to the UPA government in 2008 and urged it to include it in Renewable Energy” programme of the government and the request has been accepted.
He said that pine needles and lantana grass, posing threat to biodiversity of Himachal, would be utilized to produce biomass-based power plants. likely to be set up in Bilaspur or Hamirpur district of Himachal. The twin districts are infested with these weeds and pine leaves that made the forest vulnerable to
frequent forest fires. He said that out of 418 MW bio-mass power potential. 215 mw power would be produced by setting up number of 100 KW plants which would be
environment friendly and generate green energy by replicating
Karnataka model where the experiment had been successful.
He said that Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore has developed this
clean development management technology to produce power from bio mass
waste and it would be very useful for Himachal, especially in meeting
power shortfall of about 70 MW during the winters.
Himachal produces 70 lakh tonne of non-edible seeds, out of which only
4 lakh tonne was being utilized to extract 1-lakh tonnes of oil while
the remaining produce goes waste, he said, adding that it could be
converted into bio-fuel.