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First biofuel outlet to come up in Karnataka soon

According to reports, giving the green movement a new dimension is a Green Fuel Retail Outlet, soon to come up on the Hassan-Bangalore Highway (National Highway-48). Partnered by Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd, this outlet will sell diesel blended with oil supplied by farmers of around 2,000 villages in Hassan district.

The outlet may be operational in the next three months.

Funded by the Karnataka State Bio-Fuel Development Board (KSBDB), the farmers will be encouraged to plant pongamia, neem and simarouba (oil trees), among others, to manufacture oil for supply to this outlet. An initiative in community involvement, villagers have been roped in to grow bio-fuel suitable crops. Currently, there are 75,000 hectares of plantation under bio-fuel crops and soon another 50,000-60,000 hectares across the state, primarily Hassan, will be added. Experts said that drought conditions are suitable for the growth of bio-fuel crops.

KSBDB officials said such initiatives are important keeping in mind that the available fossil fuels are a finite commodity which, besides draining the country of foreign exchange, add heavily to pollution levels.

“To begin with, vehicles starting to use bio-fuel might face clogging in the engine. This needs to be cleared up and after a while the vehicle will get adjusted to the fuel on its own. The emission levels of nitrogen and sulphur into the air will also come down,” said A K Monappa, managing director, KSBDB.

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