Tidy gains

sixteen rice millers of Burdwan and its adjoining districts in West Bengal have joined hands to sell carbon credits to developed nations by switching over to a non-polluting mode of power generation. If their plans come to fruition, they may reap financial rewards under the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism (cdm).

Since last year the mill owners, who earlier used carbon-emitting diesel generator sets to meet their need of 200-300 kilowatts of power, have switched to environment-friendly husk-based gasifiers. The West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency (wbreda), a state government-run body that promotes alternative energy sources, is behind the initiative. Under wbreda's guidance the mill owners have set up an association called the Rice Mill Owners' Green Power Consortium.

Their proposal is almost ready and will soon be submitted to the Union ministry of environment and forests. If the ministry gives its nod, the cdm Executive Board will finally clear the venture. cdm is a