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New Delhi, Aug 28

IN the backdrop of increasing fuel prices, the Railway Board Chairman, Mr J.P. Batra, said that the Railways plans to increase focus on plantation of `Jatropha Curcas', an environment-friendly oilseed plant.

In the Northern Railway, diesel locomotives currently are successfully running with Jatropha oil-blended diesel and this experiment would be extended in a big way to other zonal railways.

He added that the Railways has planted 7.5 million `jatropha' plants so far and will intensify this in the near future, according to a release. The Railways has reached an agreement with Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) to provide 500 hectares of railway land for jatropha plantation and out of which, 180 hectares have already been provided to IOC for this purpose.

Addressing a gathering after planting a sapling of `jatropha' at `Van Mahotsav', organised by the National Rail Museum here on Sunday, the Chairman said that bio-diesel is coming up as an important alternative fuel for diesel locomotives.

He said that `jatropha is a cost-effective renewable energy source.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated August 29, 2005)
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