Gaushalas are potential sites for W2W initiatives under SBM-G: AS

To meet the goals of the Waste to Wealth initiatives of the Government of India, Gaushalas can be potential sites for setting up of GOBAR-Dhan pilot projects, said Mr. Arun Baroka, Additional Secretary (AS), Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Speaking at a virtual orientation of GOBAR-Dhan 2020-21 with the Madhya Pradesh contingent on November 9, 2020, the AS elaborated on the Phase II of the Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) where the focus has shifted to sustaining ODF status and solid and liquid waste management, of which GOBAR-Dhan is an integral element, with a view to making villages clean.

Madhya Pradesh was represented by: Mr. J.N Kansotiya, ACS, Department of Animal Husbandry, Mr. Sachin Sinha, PS-PR&RD, Mr. Ajit Keshari, PS- Agriculture Department, Mission Director – Mr. Amarpal Singh, Mr. Rajesh Roy, Deputy Commissioner SBM (G) and Mr. B.S Shukla- Cooperatives Department.

“GOBAR-Dhan is all about converting biodegradable waste to bio-gas, bio-fertilizers and in the process doubling farmers’ income,” the AS added.  Cow dung if left exposed, releases methane – a greenhouse gas that is detrimental to the environment.  Biogas plants can go a long way to curb the problems associated with such pollution.

In a presentation, Mr. Baroka explained about different models of biogas plants through video demonstrations.  States can opt for models that are best suited to their local conditions.

Zakariyapura model is a cooperative led cluster model facilitated by NDDB in Anand, Gujarat. Under this, flexi biogas plants are implemented in houses, where biogas is used for cooking or other purposes.  Named Sudhan, the slurry can be used as fertilizer by separating the solid and liquid components and sold, generating monetary benefits to households.

Umreth model is an entrepreneur led central anaerobic digester model also in Anand, Gujarat. The biogas generated here is compressed into cylinders and used as CBG for various purposes. The Bio CNG filling station can also be connected to the biogas plant, while liquid fertilizer is fortified and sold to agriculturalists.

Banas Dairy in Banaskantha, Gujarat is a cooperative led central anaerobic digester model that provides economic benefits to farmers.  Selling of the slurry generates good monetary benefits to the households.

Responding to the presentation, Mr. J.N. Kansotiya, shared that household level biogas plants with plastic dome structure are already in practice in the state.  Further, the Government of MP has provided funds for gaushalas and to convert Gobar into compost and fertilizers. In this regard, Gaushalas with more than 100 cows are targeted for GOBAR-Dhan 20-21 to be implemented.

In addition, MP intends to identify gaushalas and in coordination with milk federations go for the entrepreneur model. Plans are in the pipeline for the biogas generated in the 1000 plants being constructed in gaushalas to be connected to the grid.  The state plans to allot specific targets to milk cooperatives and a few to private entrepreneurs to implement GOBAR-Dhan 20-21 pilots.

On the other hand, Mr. Sachin Sinha said that with the support of all the stakeholders, potential districts, and sites for location of plants will be identified and a detailed project plan prepared.  They will ensure the efficient utilization of biogas and slurry – the by-products of the process.  Also, quality checking, branding, and marketing of bio-fertiliser products with the support of the Department of Agriculture; IEC and capacity building by the Department of Rural Sanitation as also convergence of fund and monitoring are essential elements.

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