Union minister Nitin Gadkari has said the government is working towards encouraging petrol, diesel and gas production from biomass and called for encouraging bamboo cultivation to boost farmer income. He said since bamboo is now listed under the category of a grass and the forest department’s permission is not required to grow and cut it for commercial purposes, bio-ethanol could be produced from it. “We need to encourage bamboo cultivation in this region in order to ensure financial stability of farmers,” the transport minister said. Yavatmal is located in Vidarbha, a region known for farmer suicides. He was speaking yesterday at the inauguration of four lanes of the NH-930, stretching between Warora and Wani, and the rail overbridge at Pimpalkhuti village here. He said infrastructure projects worth thousands of crores have been sanctioned for the development of Yavatmal district in Eastern Maharashtra. Nearly Rs 3,500 crore has already been sanctioned for the construction of highways between Wardha to Yavatmal, Yavatmal to Mahagaon and Mahagaon to Waranga, he said. The work for four lanes on NH-930, involving a cost of Rs 904.25 crore, is being implemented under the EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) mode, he said.
“Thousands of crores of development projects will be undertaken in Yavatmal district to provide proper transportation and communication facilities.” “We have already allotted a sum of Rs 10,000 crore for the construction and upgradation of the national highways in Chandrapur and Yavatmal districts,” Gadkari said. The minister said Rs 1 trillion has been allotted for the water conservation projects in Maharashtra, out of which Rs 20,000 crore has already been released. “Nearly 12 projects will be undertaken in Yavatmal under the scheme,” Gadkari said. He said the government is also working on encouraging the production of liquid and gaseous fuels from biomass which would enhance help the farmers in the region.
“In Nagpur city, buses run on ethanol and efforts are on to generate second-generation ethanol from biomass and agri-waste,” he said. He said the government is looking into the feasibility of introducing plastic LPG cylinders to reduce their cost. “We are examining its feasibility with a view to reduce the LPG prices ranging from Rs 200-250 per cylinder,” Gadkari added.