Ramesh cautions against use of biofuels in automobiles

August 26th, 2010 - 6:32 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Thursday said use of bio-fuels in automobiles is not a sustainable option for India given the food security concerns in the country.
“We should take a cautious approach towards it (bio-fuel) as its production would require land and crops. It will be difficult as there are other needs like food security in the country,” Ramesh said on the sidelines of an automobiles conference.

Produced from crops, plants and trees, biofuels are cleaner than fossil fuels.

Ramesh said there are differences between India and other countries which produce bio-fuels like Brazil. The population here is enormous and there is a scarcity of land, he said.

“We are a country of a billion people adding ten million every year, and we have serious food security issues. Diverting land or crops for bio-fuels cannot be a sustainable option,” he said.

In 2007, the government had mandated addition of 5 percent of bio-fuel (ethanol) in Diesel.

Ramesh also said other options like compressed natural gas (CNG) are more viable. He said the policies in the automobile sector need to change to promote greater use of CNG.

He added that the Diesel prices should be deregulated like petrol so as to discourage its usage and encourage the usage of non-pollutant fuels like CNG.

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