To facilitate recovery of biodegradable waste and conversion of the same into a useful resource, the Pudussery Grama Panchayat (Malampuzha Block Panchayath) in Palakkad District of Kerala has set up a GOBAR-Dhan (Galvanizing Organic Bio Agro Resources Dhan) Plant.
The purpose of the project is to produce biogas which can be used for household purposes. It is a biogas plant into which cow dung and food waste are fed. The initiative will support villages to be self-reliant through the waste to wealth project.
Constructed in Kovilpattiyarkalam village, the project is receiving full financial support from Suchitwa Mission and technical assistance from the accredited agency Integrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC) in Palakkad.
Lying in the lap of the Western Ghats, Pudussery Grama Panchayat is a suburban village situated amidst forests, mountains, and rivulets. With an area of about 223 sq.km and a population of around 55,000, it is located on the NH 47, bordered by the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu on one side and the gram panchayats of Marutharoad, Elappully, and Vadakarapathy and Malampuzha on its other sides.
The capacity of the bio-gas plant and its location was finalized following a preliminary survey. In the production of biogas, raw materials are important, the most essential being cow dung while others are bio-degradable materials such as food and vegetable waste which would be decomposed to produce biogas.
The proposed site has ample cow dung available because of the farmers living there, each of their families having farmland and a minimum of 5 cows. Cow dung from those farms can be taken without the cost of transportation. Further, the capacity of biogas plant is determined by the actual waste collected in the area which is about 500 kgs per day.
Officials were also able to determine the commitment and mindset of the people living in the vicinity as their cooperation was vital to ensure successful setting up of the project as well as its operation and maintenance.
Biogas that is generated can be fully utilized for the household purposes of around 6 families residing in the project site. Supply of biogas will be done through a pipeline system which is directly connected to their stoves. The rich bio-slurry that is produced can be used in vegetable cultivation and farms.
The main components of the Biogas plant are digester, displacement tank, storage tank, soak pit, inlet tank and mixing tank. Also, to provide gas to the various houses, two storage systems (mini biogas plants) have been provided, the entire system surrounded by a protection wall.
The entire plant consists of underground construction with only its inlet portion seen from the outside. The total cost of the project is Rs.14.25 lakhs – taken from the Suchitwa Mission under the GOBAR-Dhan Scheme.
Biogas is the most common form of biofuel in a clean form of energy which can be obtained from cattle dung, poultry droppings, crop residue, kitchen waste, etc. GOBAR-Dhan can benefit rural people in general and women, as the clean fuel promotes health and cleanliness in the villages. It provides economic and resource benefits to farmers and households – while supporting safe sanitation, in keeping with the Swachh Bharat Mission.