V. Umesh, Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner, inaugurated the World Biofuel Day celebrations organised by the Karnataka State Biofuel Board.

The biofuel sector needs government support till it (the sector) becomes stable, said V. Umesh, Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner.

Inaugurating the World Biofuel Day celebrations organised by the Karnataka State Biofuel Board here on Monday, Mr. Umesh, who is also the executive chairman of the board, said that people had criticised government subsidy to wind energy sector once.

However, that sector is catering to substantial energy requirements in the State now.

Similarly, the biofuel sector, which is in the initial stages of development, needs government intervention, Mr. Umesh said. It should be a community event to become popular and commercially viable, he said.

The former executive chairman of the board Y.B. Ramakrishna, in his keynote address, said that though about 400 varieties of biofuel plants were available in the country, about 100 are available in Karnataka but only about 10 plants are being cultivated.

Biofuel plants can be grown easily and with the intervention of the board, about six crore saplings have been planted in about 1.5 lakh hectares of land in the last five years, he said. Fossil fuel would get exhausted in about four decades with the present rate of usage, Mr. Ramakrishna said.

Karnataka State Council for Science and Technology had partnered the event. An exhibition on biofuel plants and biofuel production was organised.

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