Itanagar, June 3: Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister, Dharmendra Pradhan has assured support to tap the huge bamboo resources of Arunachal Pradesh that can change the economy of rural masses.
Pradhan gave the assurance came when Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju met him on Friday evening. A biofuel refinery, the first-of-its-kind in India, set up at Numaligarh Refinery in Assam will soon process biofuel from bamboo abundantly found in the state.
The Arunachal Pradesh government has signed a memorandum of understanding with NRL for sourcing three lakh tonne of bamboo per year from the state, an official release said in Itanagar on Saturday.
The Union minister said that only 5 per cent of bamboo resources of the state is used for paper production while another 5 per cent goes into manufacturing of furniture and other building materials.
"Some 70 to 80 per cent of your bamboo resources are wasted. We will tap it and the economy of bamboo farmers and the state would change," he said. Pradhan stressed on putting in place a robust system for procurement of bamboo from the source and prevent third parties or middlemen from creeping in, the release said.
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 can deliver at Numaligarh," Pradhan said, calling for an Amul-like structure.
He further said 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 proposed to hold a high-level meeting in Arunachal Pradesh to sustainably harvest petroleum and natural gas resources in the state to augment revenue and employment generation in the state.
Highlighting the ambitious Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna, Pradhan said that by the end of 2019 every household in Arunachal Pradesh will be connected by LPG under it. He requested Khandu and Rijiju to launch the scheme at block levels across the state and advised them to plan accordingly.