Source: IOCL

GUWAHATI:

The All-Assam Engineers’ Association (AAEA), on February 12, lauded the Centre’s and state’s initiative to encourage mixing of ethanol with petrol, saying using that will benefit farmers financially.

“Ethanol burns cleaner than petrol. The latter usually leaves a significant volume of toxic carbon monoxide in the air. Assam government should formulate a pragmatic flex-fuel policy so that local farmers can avail higher benefits out of the initiative. We, therefore, urge Assam chief minister to take the lead with necessary inputs from agriculture scientists, qualified engineers and other stakeholders,” said Kailash Sharma, president of AAEA.

Urging the concerned authorities to launch a public awareness campaign on the benefits of alternative fuel for automobile users in the country, the association added that ethanol-mixed petrol is cheaper and reduces air pollution. Its use in petrol-powered engines would also financially benefit the farmers, as ethanol is prepared from agricultural products like grain, sugarcane, hemp, and molasses, among others.

According to Rajib Goswami, president of North-East India Petroleum Dealers’ Association (NEIPDA), petrol pumps in Guwahati have started selling ethanol-blended petrol, following its distribution by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL).

“Ethanol blend has been supplied to all petrol pumps in Meghalaya and Lower Assam,” he said.

Notably, Union Road Transport and Highways Minister, Nitin Gadkari, has been advocating ethanol-blended fuel for vehicles and has asked carmakers to introduce flex-fuel engines on a large scale considering its advantages.

India has to spend around Rs 8 lakh crore annually for importing crude oil, gas and other petroleum products. The Centre has decided to reduce the amount with the use of ethanol, methanol, bio-diesel, and compressed natural gas, to name a few.

At present, India has a maximum of 9 per cent ethanol-blended petrol in use.