In what may turn out to be a turning point for the SVO movement, a World War 2 vintage jeep in the Adilabad forest area is about to be modified to run on Karanji oil. With start-stop vehicle engines, it is better to have two tanks with a switch: diesel to start on, SVO to run on and diesel again before stopping. The jeep as a 4 wheel drive is the work-horse of the Indian countryside. They are sturdy and cheap to buy, but diesel costs are a killer. If SVO make a difference here, the impact on rural transportation, load carrying and job generation will be immense.
The Professor's vision is broad: "There is room for everyone in this new economy. Small groups running nurseries, forest folk gathering seeds, small land holders planting for SVO, big corporations farming hundreds of acres, the state developing wastelands, organic farmers using the oil cake as manure, national security strategists factoring SVO in, activists into greening of India and watchdogs battling pollution. All these can come in and find win-win solutions. The market is virtually infinite. After all our oil import bill is $ 6 billion a year-- and growing."
Indians everywhere are beginning to get hooked by the idea. It's an emerging drama you want to be a part of. It urges you to find a role for yourself. For example, the alumni of the IIT-Madras batch of 1969 have decided to gift an oil milling plant to a women's SHG in Thally in Tamil Nadu. It was their way to pay back. The plant costs Rs.350,000. The 180 alumnus have chipped in. That Prof. Shrinivasa is an IIT-69 alumnus is a matter of small detail.
SuTRA [Sustainable Transformation of Rural Areas]
Dept. of Mech. Engg.
Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore 560 012, India
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