The State government has advocated for formulating a National Policy for exploitation of Bio- mass energy. Jai Ram Thakur, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister said this in a conference on Bio-mass energy in which the Ministers of BJP ruled States participated at New Delhi today. He said that Himachal Pradesh has the capacity to produce 260 MW Bio-mass energy.

Jai Ram Thakur said that 8950 sq. kilometres of area in Himachal Pradesh comprises of pine forests and about 146 metric tonnes of pine needles can be collected for producing energy. He said that the State Government had decided to purchase pine needles from the panchayats at the cost of Rs. five per quintal so that it can be utilized for bio energy under Joint Forest Management Exchange Scheme.

The Minister said that to set up bio energy plant the State Government would invite private participation. He said that 7.2 MW bio energy unit had been started in Kala Amb by Ruchira Paper Mill and it utilizes its energy requirements itself.