New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that 10 per cent ethanol blending has led to reduction of 27 lakh tonnes of carbon emission, saved foreign exchange worth Rs 41,000 crore and earned Rs 40,600 crore in the last eight years to our farmers.
The Prime Minister announced that India has achieved the target of 10 per cent ethanol blending in petrol five months ahead of schedule and said that in 2014 ethanol blending was just at 1.5 per cent. “There are three clear benefits of achieving this goal, first, it has led to a reduction of 27 lakh tonnes of carbon emission. Second, it has saved foreign exchange worth Rs 41,000 crore and thirdly, farmers of the country have earned Rs 40,600 crore in the last eight years due to increase in ethanol blending,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Modi was speaking at a programme on ‘Save Soil Movement’ at Vigyan Bhawan here. ‘Save Soil Movement’ is a global movement to increase awareness about deteriorating soil health and bring about a conscious response to improve it. The movement was started by Sadhguru in March 2022, who embarked on a 100-day motorcycle journey passing through 27 countries and June 5 marks the 75th day of the 100-day journey.
The Prime Minister informed the audience that to save the soil, the government has focused on five main things. First – how to make the soil chemical free, second – how to save the organisms that live in the soil, which are called ‘Soil Organic Matter’ in technical language, third – how to maintain soil moisture, how to increase the availability of water, fourth – how to remove the damage that is happening to the soil due to less groundwater and fifth – how to stop the continuous erosion of soil due to the reduction of forests.
“Main efforts are being undertaken in the agriculture sector to alleviate the problem of soil issues. Earlier, the farmers of our country lacked information about the type of soil, deficiency in soil, how much water is there. To overcome this problem, a huge campaign was launched to give soil health cards to the farmers in the country,” he said.
The Prime Minister mentioned that the Government is connecting the people of the country with water conservation through campaigns like catch the rain. “In March this year itself, a campaign to conserve 13 big rivers has also started in the country. In this, along with reducing pollution in water, work is also being done to plant forests on the banks of rivers. Estimates are that this will add a forest cover of 7400 square km which will add to the increase of 20,000 km forest cover in India that has been added in the last eight years,” he said.
The Prime Minister noted that the policies related to ‘Biodiversity and Wildlife’ that India is following today have also led to a record increase in the number of wildlife. “Today whether it is tiger, lion, leopard or elephant, their number is increasing in the country,” he said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that in natural farming, there is a big solution to some of our biggest problems. The Prime Minister informed that India is working on the goal of restoring 26 million hectare land by 2030. The Prime Minister further said that India has achieved the target of sourcing 40 per cent of our installed power generation capacity from non-fossil-fuel nine years ahead of schedule.
“Solar energy capacity has increased by 18 times and policies like Hydrogen Mission and Circular economy related policies, scrappage policy are examples of our commitment to environment protection,” he said. The Prime Minister said that due to PM National GatiShakti Master plan, logistics system and transport system will be strengthened and that will lead to reduction of pollution. “Multi-modal connectivity work on more than 100 waterways will also help in reducing pollution,” he added.