Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, February 7
The Union Jal Shakti Ministry has made the push for effective implementation of Centre’s “Gobardhan” scheme. It launched a “unified” portal on it to ensure transparency and social accountability in its implementation.
The portal was launched by Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh. The Union Minister for Petroleum Dharmendra Pradhan and Minister for Animal Husbandry Giriraj Singh were present on the occasion.
The Gobardhan scheme aims to support villages in effectively managing their cattle and biodegradable waste.
It is expected to help enhance farmers’ income by converting biodegradable waste into compressed biogas (CBG).
Launched in 2018, it is being pursued as a priority programme under the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen-Phase 2 by the Ministry’s Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation.
“The new portal will provide information related to the scheme and assistance provided towards it by other ministries such as petroleum, agriculture, animal husbandry and the MSME,” Shekawat said.
On the occasion, Pradhan said the scheme will provide farmers an alternative income of at least Rs 1 lakh crore in the next five years by converting rural waste into ethanol, biogas and biodiesel.
The Petroleum Ministry will provide guaranteed offtake from these CBG plants under public-private model at a minimum price to provide farmers additional income through the scheme. The minimum price will be revised every year.
Pradhan said that the new portal will give entrepreneurs information on finances related to the establishment of CBG plant such as interest subvention by the agriculture ministry, slurry manure purchase by animal husbandry ministry, along with gas purchase by the petroleum ministry.
The Reserve Bank of India has categorised financing for the CBG plants under this scheme as a priority sector lending. The State Bank of India has been nominated to finance them.
Around 650 entrepreneurs have already submitted letters of intent for establishing CBG plants and two municipal corporations have signed a contract with the petroleum ministry to provide 2,500 metric tonnes worth of CBG.
“This will be the priority scheme of the ministry under its effort of taking India ahead toward Open Defecation Free Plus,” Jal Shakti Secretary Pankaj Kumar said.
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