Union MoS (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Dharmendra Pradhan assured support to tap the huge bamboo resources of Arunachal Pradesh, which remains unused to its potential that can change the economy of rural masses. The assurance came when Chief Minister Pema Khandu and MoS Home Kiren Rijiju made a courtesy call on Dharmendra Pradhan Thursday evening.
A biofuel refinery, the first-of-its-kind in India, set up at the Numaligarh Refinery (NRL) in Assam, will soon process biofuel from bamboo, abundantly found in the state. The Arunachal Pradesh Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NRL for sourcing three lakh tons of bamboo per year from the state.
The Union Minister informed that only 5% of bamboo resources of the state is used for paper production while another 5% goes in manufacturing of furniture and other building materials.
“70 to 80% of your bamboo resources go in waste. We will tap it and the economy of bamboo farmers and the state would change,” he explained.
However, Pradhan asserted on putting in place a robust system for procurement of bamboo from the source and prevent seeping in of third party or middlemen.
He suggested establishing small processing units in rural hubs catering to a cluster of villages, which can be run by unemployed youths.
“NRL can then collect the processed bamboo from these units or the units on their own deliver at Numaligarh,” Pradhan said, calling for a structure like that of Amul.
The Union Minister informed that the ministry has come out with a Vision 2020 Document that includes an intense roadmap for the North East in oil and natural gas exploration, extension of production, distribution, research, etc. He requested both Khandu and Rijiju to go through the document and plan accordingly.
He proposed to hold a high level meeting in Arunachal Pradesh to sustainably harvest petroleum and natural gas resources in the state to augment revenue generation and employment generation in the state. Pradhan hinted that he may visit the state in July next.
Pradhan also discussed CSR activities of oil and natural gas PSUs in Arunachal Pradesh. To the request of the Chief Minister to extend and enhance CSR role in the state, he assured to check the present status and direct oil PSUs to do the needful.
He, however, committed that critical and priority projects in social sectors, particularly in health and education, will be funded under CSR.
Highlighting the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna (PMUY), the Union Minister said that by the end of 2019 every household in Arunachal Pradesh will be connected by LPG under it. He requested the Chief Minister and MoS Home to launch the scheme in the state and advised them to plan accordingly launching of the same at all district and block levels on mission mode.
PMUY was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May last year that aims to safeguard the health of women and children by providing them with a clean cooking fuel – LPG, so that they don’t have to compromise their health in smoky kitchens or wander in unsafe areas collecting firewood.