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Central railways’ ambitious biofuel project gets derailed

According to reports, the Indian railways’ project to run trains on biodiesel has received a setback in Pune. The Pune division of the central railways had planted over 7 lakh Jatropha saplings to use them for making biofuel. However, the plan had to be scrapped as the Jatropha plants did not grow even a year after they were planted in various parts of the division.

YK Singh, public relations officer of the central railways’ Pune division, said, “We had planted these saplings for the purpose of biofuel, but we did not get the desired results and the plants could not be grown.”

With the rise in the price of diesel, the railways has to spend crores of rupees on fuel. According to the railway officials, use of the biofuel would reduce diesel consumption and prove economical in the long run. However, now since the project in Pune has failed, the central railways will have to find a new location for Jatropha plantations.

According to the railway officials, the biofuel can be used on trains without making any change in the engine. It can also be mixed with diesel so that less diesel will be required to run the engine. There will be reduction in air pollution because of the use of biofuel.

The Pune division of the central railways had planted over 7 lakh plants of Jatropha near Ghorpadi washing centre and at the side of the railway tracks from Saswad Road to Jejuri. However, the division was not successful in growing the plants.

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