The West Bengal government on Wednesday said it had received around 15 proposals for manufacturing biofuel, entailing an investment of Rs 2,666 crore. Chief Secretary Harikrishna Dwivedi made the announcement after attending a meeting with industrialists.

“The state is one of the biggest producers of rice in the country and that broken rice could be used for the manufacture of ethanol for mixing with petrol or diesel. Since ethanol is a green fuel, we are making it mandatory to blend ethanol with petrol and diesel. We have a huge amount of broken rice, we are expecting that we will be able to produce a huge amount of ethanol,” said the bureaucrat.

He added, “We have already set up an ethanol production promotion policy and received 15 proposals to produce ethanol. The total investment involved is Rs 2,666 crore and we are expecting it will generate 4,000 direct employment.”

Meanwhile, the chief secretary also announced that the state government had decided to create a new sand mining policy.

Till now, the government had been following the sand mining policy created in 2016 but that lacked uniformity, according to the senior official. “It was affecting the environment as well as the revenues earned by the state,” Dwivedi added.

Earlier, the state administration had decided to conduct auctions of sand blocks under the mineral development corporation. “The mineral development corporation will carry out the auction in a very transparent and centralised manner to carry out auctions of the sand blocks. This will start in October-end,” said Dwivedi.

The chief secretary claimed that the state government had also received a proposal to set up a data centre in Hooghly. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already announced a data policy for the state.

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