Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said the government is planning to frame a policy for production of coal-based methanol.According to Minister of Road, Transport Highways and Shipping Gadkari, the policy, once framed, has a potential to generate employment for 25 lakh people."India has a surplus of coal, so we have plan to extract methanol from coal. It will reduce imports by one lakh litre," Gadkari told reporters here."In addition to that, it will generate employment to 25 lakh people."Gadkari spoke after a meeting here on 'Second generation ethanol' which was also attended by Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan and officials from Ministry of Coal.
The minister observed that in the near future trucks will be run on 100 per cent methanol, just like the way 70-odd civic body-run buses are operated on ethanol in Nagpur city of Maharashtra.The ministry said that currently India is estimated to require at least 300 crore litre of ethanol and that this requirement would go up to 400-500 crore litre as more (fuel) flexi-vehicles come up."During the meeting there were deliberations on the need for large scale production of bio-ethanol as a pollution free and import substituting alternative fuel," the ministry said in a statement. The statement added that Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas is expected to bring out a policy regarding production of ethanol from various agri-sources.