Governor of Haryana Shri Bandaru Dattatreya ji, my cabinet colleagues Narendra Singh Tomar ji, Hardeep Singh Puri ji, Rameswar Teli ji, MPs, MLAs, my dear farmer brothers and sisters who are present in large numbers in Panipat, other dignitaries associated with this program, ladies and gentlemen; Wishing you all a very Happy World Bio-fuel Day!
Today’s event is very crucial for the farmers across the country including Panipat, Haryana. This modern ethanol plant in Panipat, which has become a bio-fuel plant, is just a beginning. This plant will also help in reducing pollution in Delhi-NCR and the entire Haryana. I congratulate the people of Haryana, especially the farmer sisters and brothers. Today, Haryana deserves heartfelt congratulations for another reason as well.
In the Commonwealth Games, Haryana’s sons and daughters have made the country proud by performing brilliantly. They have brought several medals to the country. The energy depicted by the players of Haryana in the field of sports, will now be shown by the farms of Haryana by generating energy.
In a country like ours that worships nature, bio-fuel is a synonym for protecting nature. Our farmer brothers and sisters understand this better. Bio-fuel for us means green fuel or environment saving fuel. The farmer brothers and sisters have been very much aware of this for centuries because you do not allow anything to get wasted in the entire process of sowing seeds to growing crops and then transporting it to the market. Farmers know how to use everything they grow in their fields. The field which grows food for the people also generates fodder for the animals. Most of our farmers know how to make good use of the stubble left behind in the fields after harvest. Stubble is used as animal feed and in many villages, it is also converted into pots. But it is also true that in areas like Haryana, where paddy and wheat are produced more, the stubble could not be fully utilized. Now the farmers here are getting another means of using the stubble and that is with a modern ethanol plant or a bio-fuel plant. The bio-fuel plant of Panipat will also be able to dispose of the stubble without burning. And there will be several other benefits simultaneously.
Firstly, Mother Earth will not have to tolerate the pain that was caused to her by stubble burning before. Mother Earth used to burn in that fire but now she will get freedom from that pain. Mother Earth will also like the fact that the stubble will now be used in the right place.
Secondly, the new system, the new machines and the new transportation facilities that are coming up for cutting and disposing crop residue as well as these new bio-fuel plants that are being set up, will help generate employment opportunities in all these villages. New opportunities will arise. The field of green jobs will be strengthened. Thirdly, the stubble which used to be a burden for the farmers would now become a means of additional income for them.
Fourthly, pollution will be reduced and the contribution of farmers in protecting the environment will increase further. And the fifth benefit would be that the country would also get an alternative fuel. That is, the stubble which used to cause damage earlier will now produce these five nectars. I am glad that the work is underway to set up many such bio-fuel plants in different parts of the country.
“Biofuel is synonymous to protecting nature – Biofuel for us is green and environment-saving fuel.”
“Political selfishness and politics of short cuts can never solve the problems permanently.”
People who have a tendency to avoid problems by adopting short-cuts for political gains can never solve the problems permanently. Those adopting short-cuts may get accolades for a short while and also gain political brownie points, but the problem does not subside. That’s why I say that adopting short-cuts leads to short-circuit. So, instead of following short-cuts, our government is engaged in finding permanent solutions to the problems. A lot has been said about the problems of stubble burning over the years. But the people using short-cuts could not give a solution to this. We understand the problems of the farmers regarding stubble. So, we are also giving them easy options to get rid of it.
We have provided financial assistance to the Farmer Producer Organizations or FPOs for the disposal of stubble. Up to 80 percent subsidy was also given for the purchase of modern machines related to it. Now this bio-fuel plant in Panipat is also going to help in providing a permanent solution to the problem of stubble. In this modern plant, apart from paddy and wheat stubble, the crop residue from maize, sugarcane bagasse and rotten grains will also be used to produce ethanol. That is, the farmers will be free from this big problem. Our food producers who used to burn stubble under compulsion and were maligned because of this, will now feel proud of the fact that they are also helping in the production of ethanol or bio-fuel and in nation building. The government has started another scheme, the Gobardhan scheme, to dispose of the cow dung from cows and buffaloes as well as the waste that comes out of the fields. Gobar Dhan Yojana is also becoming another medium of increasing the income of the farmers.
Be it fertilizers, chemicals, edible oil, crude oil or gas, we have been heavily dependent on foreign countries for these products for the last several decades since independence. Therefore, as soon as the supply chain used to get disrupted due to global conditions, India too could not escape the repercussions. For the last 8 years, the country is also working on coming up with permanent solutions to these challenges. New fertilizer plants are being set up in the country, nano fertilizers are being produced and new missions have also started for edible oil. In the near future, all these initiatives will lead the country towards a permanent solution to these problems.
In the ‘Azadi Ka Amritkaal’, the country is moving fast towards realizing the resolve of a self-reliant India.
Our villages and farmers are the greatest examples of self-reliance. Farmers get their necessities to a large extent from their villages itself. The socio-economic system of the village is such that everyone comes together to fulfil each other’s needs. This is the reason why the culture of savings is also very strong among the people of the villages. This culture is also saving the money of the country. In the last 7-8 years, about 50 thousand crore rupees of the country have been saved from going abroad as a result of ethanol blending in petrol. And about the same money has gone to the farmers of our country because of ethanol blending. That is, the money which used to go abroad has in a way been received by our farmers.
Another great change has taken place within the new India of the 21st century. Today the country is making big resolutions and also fulfilling them.
A few years ago, the country had set a target of blending up to 10 per cent ethanol in petrol. With the help of our farmer brothers and sisters, the country has achieved this target ahead of time. Eight years ago, the production of ethanol in our country was only around 40 crore litres. Today, about 400 crore litres of ethanol is being produced. The raw material for producing ethanol in such large quantities comes from the fields of our farmers. The sugarcane farmers in particular have benefited a lot from this initiative.
Let me give another example to my farmer brothers and sisters of how the country is achieving major goals. Till 2014, there were only around 14 crore LPG gas connections in the country. Half of the country’s population, our mothers and sisters, were left to suffer in the kitchen smoke. The harm caused to their health and the inconvenience of sisters and daughters were not taken care of earlier. I am glad that today more than 9 crore gas connections have been given to poor sisters with the Ujjwala scheme itself. Now we have almost reached 100% LPG coverage in the country. There are about 31 crore gas connections in the country today, increasing from 14 crores. This has benefitted the poor families and the middle class to a great extent.
Work is also going on at a rapid pace to expand the CNG network in the country and to provide affordable piped gas to every household. CNG stations were started in our country in the 90s. Till 8 years back, there were less than 800 CNG stations in the country. Piped gas connections in homes were only a few lakhs.
Today there are more than 4500 CNG stations across the country and the figure of piped gas connections is touching 1 crore. Today, as we are completing 75 years of independence, the country is also working on the goal of covering more than 75 per cent of the households in the country with piped gas in the next few years.
“Selfish announcements of freebies will prevent the country from becoming self-reliant, increase burden on honest taxpayers and prevent investment in new technologies.”
“In the next few years, more than 75 percent of the households in the country will get piped gas.”
Our young generation will be benefitted the most with the hundreds of kilometres long gas pipelines that we are laying down as well as the modern plants and factories that we are setting up today. New opportunities for Green Jobs will be created continuously in the country and employment opportunities will increase. Today’s challenges will not trouble our future generations. This is true development. This is true commitment towards development.
If there is selfishness in politics, then anyone can come and announce the giving away of free petrol and diesel. Such steps will take away the rights from our children and will prevent the country from becoming self-reliant. Due to such selfish policies, the burden of honest tax payers of the country will also increase. Those who make such announcements for their political interests will never invest in new technologies. They will make false promises to the farmers, but will not set up plants like ethanol plants to increase the income of the farmers. They will make shallow promises on controlling air pollution, but will run away from taking the necessary actions to stop it.
This is not a policy but imprudence. This has nothing to do with national interest but everything to do with harming the national interest. This is not nation building, it is an attempt to push the nation back. To deal with the challenges that the country is facing, it needs a clear intention, sincerity and a policy. For this, a lot of hard work is needed and the government has to invest a lot of money. If the governments do not have money, then even these ethanol plants, biogas plants, big solar plants, hydrogen gas plants which are being installed today will also be shut down. We must remember that whether we are there or not, this nation will always be there. It has survived for centuries and will continue to live for centuries. The children living in this nation will always be there. We do not have the right to ruin the future of our upcoming generations.
Those who had sacrificed their lives for freedom had also worked in this eternal spirit. If they too had thought of themselves, if they had been selfish, then there wouldn’t have been any trouble in their lives too. They would have escaped from hardships, bullets, gallows, tortures, but their children, that is, we the people of India, would not have been able to celebrate the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ today. This month of August is the month of revolution. Therefore, as a country, we have to take a pledge to not allow any such trend to grow. This is a collective responsibility of the country.
In this ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’, when the country is painted in the colours of the tricolour and independence, an incident has come to the forefront. I want to draw the nation’s attention towards it. An attempt has been made to disgrace this holy occasion and to disparage our brave freedom fighters.
It is important to understand the mentality of such people. We know that sometimes a patient gets tired of the treatment of his long-term illness when he does not get any benefit despite consulting good doctors. Then no matter how educated he is, superstition starts growing in him. He starts using sorcery and starts believing in black magic. Similarly, there are some people in our country who are trapped in the vortex of negativity and are immersed in despair. Even after telling heaps of lies against the government, the public was not ready to trust such people. In such desperation, these people are also now apparently turning towards black magic.
We have seen on 5th August how a lot of effort was made to spread black magic. These people believe that by wearing black clothes, their period of despair and frustration will end. But they don’t know that no matter how much black magic or superstition they might use, the public will never trust them again. And I would also say that with such actions, don’t try to insult the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ or the tricolour.
Unlike the selfish policies of some political parties, our government will continue to work on the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath- Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas and Sabka Prayas’. I am sure that the energy of positive beliefs about development will continue to be generated like this. Once again, congratulations to the crores of friends, farmers and livestock rearers of Haryana. Tomorrow as a citizen, we too must reiterate our resolve to fulfil our duty towards the country. With this wish I end my speech.