Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the World Environment Day event, jointly organised by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, through video conferencing, in New Delhi on June 5, 2021.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the World Environment Day event, jointly organised by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, through video conferencing, in New Delhi on June 5, 2021.

Target of achieving 20% ethanol blending in petrol advanced to 2025, says Modi

New Delhi, June 5, 2021

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the Government has advanced the target of 20% ethanol blending in petrol by 2025, instead of by 2030 as decided earlier.

Addressing a World Environment Day event through a video conference, the Prime Minister said India has taken another leap by releasing a detailed roadmap for the development of the ethanol sector on this day.

During the event, jointly organized by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, he released the Report of the Expert Committee on Road Map for Ethanol Blending in India 2020-2025. He also launched the ambitious E-100 pilot project in Pune for the production and distribution of ethanol across the country.

The theme for this year’s event is "Promotion of Biofuels for a Better Environment".

Union Ministers Nitin Gadkari, Narendra Singh Tomar, Prakash Javadekar, Piyush Goyal and Dharmendra Pradhan were among those present on the occasion.

Modi said ethanol has become one of the major priorities of 21st- century India. The focus on ethanol is having a better impact on the environment as well as on the lives of farmers. Till 2014, on average, only 1.5% of ethanol could be blended which has now reached about 8.5%. In 2013-14, about 38 crore litres of ethanol were purchased in the country which has now grown to more than 320 crore litres. A large part of this eightfold increase in ethanol procurement has benefitted the sugarcane farmers of the country, he added.

Modi said the 21st-century India could get energy only from innovative thinking and policies in every field. Thus, a lot of emphasis was being laid on building the necessary infrastructure for the production and purchase of ethanol in the country. Most of the ethanol manufacturing units are concentrated in 4-5 states where sugar production is high but now food grain-based distilleries were being established to cover the whole country. Modern technology-based plants were also being set up to make ethanol from agricultural waste, he said.

“India is a strong proponent of climate justice and is moving ahead with a lofty global vision including the founding of International Solar Alliance for realizing the vision of One Sun, One World, One Grid and the Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure initiative. India has been included in the top 10 countries of the world in the Climate Change Performance Index. It was also aware of the challenges being faced due to climate change and working actively," he said.

The Prime Minister spoke about the hard and soft approaches taken to fight climate change. On the hard approach, he noted that India’s capacity for renewable energy has increased by more than 250% in the last 6-7 years. India was today among the top 5 countries of the world in terms of installed renewable energy capacity. Especially the capacity of solar energy has increased by about 15 times in the last 6 years.

Modi said the country has also taken historic steps with a soft approach. The common man has joined and was leading the pro-environment campaign like avoiding single-use plastic, beach cleaning or Swachh Bharat.

“The impact of giving more than 37 crores LED bulbs and more than 23 lakh energy efficient fans are not discussed often.

“Similarly, by providing free gas connections under the Ujjwala scheme and electricity connections under the Saubhagya scheme to crores of poor, their dependence on wood has come down. Apart from reducing pollution, it has also helped a lot in improving health and strengthening environmental protection,” he added.

“India is setting an example to the world that it is not necessary to stop development for protecting the environment. Economy and Ecology both can go together and move forward. This is the path India has chosen. Along with strengthening the economy, our forests have also increased by 15,000 square kilometres in the last few years. The number of tigers in our country has doubled and the number of leopards has also increased by about 60% in the last few years," he said.

The Prime Minister said clean and efficient energy systems, resilient urban infrastructure and planned eco-restoration were a very important part of the AatmaNirbhar Bharat campaign. Due to all the efforts taken related to the environment, new investment opportunities were being created and lakhs of youth getting employment.

He said India was working with a holistic approach through the National Clean Air Plan to curb air pollution. The work on waterways and multimodal connectivity will not only strengthen the mission of green transport but also improve logistics efficiency. Today, the service of metro rail in the country has increased from five cities to 18 cities which have helped in reducing the use of personal vehicles.

Modi said a large part of the country's railway network has been electrified. Airports are also made to use electricity from solar energy at a rapid pace. Before 2014, only 7 airports had a solar power facility, whereas today this number has increased to more than 50. More than 80 airports have installed LED lights to improve energy efficiency.

A project was underway to develop Kevadiya in Gujarat as an electric vehicle city. The necessary infrastructure was being made available so that only battery-based buses, two-wheeler, four-wheeler will ply in the city in future.

Since the water cycle is directly related to climate change, any imbalance in the water cycle will directly affect water security, he pointed out. Work was being done with a holistic approach from creation and conservation to the use of water resources in the country through Jal Jeevan Mission.

While every household was being connected with piped water supply, the focus was on raising the groundwater level through campaigns like Atal Bhujal Yojana and Catch the Rain.

The Prime Minister announced that the government has identified 11 sectors that can make good use of resources by recycling them through modern technology. A lot of work has been done in the last few years on the "Kachra to Kanchan" campaign and now it was being taken forward very fast in mission mode.

The action plan, which will have all the regulatory and development related aspects will be implemented in the coming months. “We will be able to provide a safe environment to our coming generations only when every citizen of the country makes a united effort to maintain the balance of water, air and land,” he added.

The Prime Minister also interacted with a farmer from Pune who shared his experience of organic farming and the use of biofuel in agriculture.


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