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Pungamiya Bio Diesel

FAQ on Pungamiya Bio Diesel

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Meeting on Introduction of Bio-diesel Technology and Demonstration June 26, 2005 at 4.00 pm at Nainar Kuppam

Long-term sustainability for fishermen

In response to the recent tsunami, East Coast Citizens' Organisation [ECCO] of Muttukkadu has been distributing boats and engines to the fishermen of Karikkattu Kuppam, Reddi Kuppam and Nainar Kuppam, all fishing hamlets off the ECR and about 20 km outside of Chennai. In all ECCO's relief work is upward of Rs 40 Lacs. Observing the huge number of diesel engines that are being inducted into fishermen's villages, D V Sridharan, the President of ECCO and Publisher of, wondered about the long term sustainability of profits, given constantly increasing prices of petroleum products. Planting fishing villages with an oil seed tree called pongamia pinnata [Pungai], seemed to offer a viable solution. Pungai maram is a hardy tree that begins to yield in the fifth year and goes on yielding till its 80th year. 400 trees yield 1000 litres of oil per year. This can be used as a diesel substitute by fishermen. Oil cake can be used to improve kitchen gardens or sold as fertilizer.  

GoodNewsIndia Foundaton along with J. Kughanandam and Dr. Supraja Dharini of TREE Foundation, Trust for Environment Education, Conservation and Community Development which has been working with the fishing villages of Periya Neelangarai, Injambakkam, Pannaiyur' Nainar Kuppam, Uthandi and Reddi Kuppam Kannathur, has over the last two months been raising awareness and enthusiasm in these three villages.

J. Kughanandam and Dr. Supraja Dharini of TREE Foundation have been conducting a series of meetings with the villagers to make them understand the all-round importance of Pungai Maram-for bio diesel. First planting occurred on Sept 5 th 2005' after south west monsoon showers. On June 26, 2005, Professor Udipi Shrinivasa of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore who is today an acknowledged expert on tree based biodiesel in the country, visited the villagers. The day ended with a joint meeting at Nainar Kuppam at 4 pm' here a fishing engine running on Pongamia Oil was demonstrated.

Dr Sultan Ismail of New College, recently honored with the Arignan Anna Award of Environment, also attended and addreed the gathering. I therefore request you to kindly cover this program and help spread this message of a fishing community moving towards self reliance.

Yours Truly,

Supraja Dharini


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