Staff Correspondent

South Western Railway may use bio fuel from jatropha seeds

  • Devaragudihal Tank to be converted into a picnic spot
  • About 50,000 saplings to be planted around the tank
  • Proposal on oil extraction plant under study
  • Mass tree plantation would be a continuous drive

    HUBLI: The South Western Railway has embarked upon an ambitious plan of planting 30 lakh jatropha saplings. The saplings will be planted extensively at Hospet, Bellary, Londa, Hubli, Dharwad, Belgaum and Vasco, besides along the tracks in Hubli, Bangalore and Mysore divisions.

    Bio-fuel

    This is a precursor to a plan of using bio-fuel. Oil extracted from jatropha seeds can be used in fuel and in soaps. The residue makes for organic manure. The trees require very little maintenance and can be grown anywhere.

    South Western Railway General Manager Trilok Nath Perti inaugurated the tree plantation programme at Devaragudihal tank near Hubli on Monday by planting a Jatropa sapling.

    He unveiled a stone plaque as part of the inauguration of the programme.

    The South Western Railway has 382 acres of land at Devaragudihal near Hubli. Of this, the tank area is around 278 acres. The tank provides drinking water to the railway colonies and the railway stations in Hubli and Dharwad.

    The water is processed at the Obalapuram water filtration plant. Mr. Perti said 50,000 saplings of jatropha would be planted around the tank and it would be developed as a picnic spot.

    He said the mass tree plantation would be a continuous drive. Railway was studying the idea of setting up an oil extraction plant as jatropha oil was an economical and environment-friendly fuel.

    Commercial

    "South Western Railway plans to commercially exploit jatropha oil and we may set up our plant.

    Using jatropha oil will help cut down the annual diesel bill," he said.

    South Western Railway Senior Deputy General Manager K.J.S. Naidu, Chief Mechanical Engineer B.B. Modgil, Chief Operations Manager P.N. Shukla, and Divisional Railway Manager Rakesh Vatash were present.

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