GOBAR-Dhan is an important element in SBM-G II: AS

An important element of the Waste to Wealth Initiative of DDWS, GOBAR-Dhan is a national priority which has been included in Swachh Bharat Mission Grameen (SBM-G) Phase II.  Under this GOBAR-Dhan programme, focus will be on converting cow dung and agricultural waste into clean energy and bio-fertiliser and at the same time doubling the farmers’ income, said Mr. Arun Baroka, Additional Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), Ministry of Jal Shakti.

Speaking virtually to officials of Haryana, the AS made a presentation on ‘Waste to Wealth in Rural Areas – GOBAR-Dhan: a unified approach by the Government of India,’ on November 18, 2020.

Haryana was represented by Mr. Sudhir Rajpal, Principal Secretary, Rural Development; SBM State Coordinator, Director Agriculture, and Director Cooperation.

The presentation covered the guiding principles, potential for biomethanation, various Biogas programmes of the Government of India, GOBAR-Dhan 2020-21 pilot projects, various business models, ecosystems that have been created to promote projects, the role of the States, governance arrangements at State, District and village levels with timelines and targets.

 The success of the programme  is ensured as it is being implemented with the coordination and combined action of  all stakeholders – Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Oil Companies and cooperative unions who have already  come on board to support the initiative with DDWS as the coordinating body.

The Scheme is in accordance with the PM’s vision.  “The aim of the GOBAR-Dhan Scheme is ensuring cleanliness in villages and generate wealth and energy by converting cattle dung and solid agricultural waste into compost and biogas,” the PM had said in February 2018.

Videos that captured various business models and techniques were played to provide a glimpse of successful units that convert dung into biogas for both domestic and industrial purposes:  Zakariyapura in Anand, Gujarat; Umreth in Anand, Gujarat and Banas Dairy in Banaskantha, Gujarat.

In the first year, the targets for the pilot projects are: 

  • 100 cooperative model biogas clusters in 10-12 states with the Ministry of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries and NDDB support
  • 10 compressed biogas (CBG) plants in the 10-12 States with the support of the Ministries of Petroleum and Natural Gas, New and Renewable Energy and oil marketing companies.

“Everyone should get some benefit,” emphasised Mr. Baroka reiterating that all the processes should involve the community – through an entrepreneur driven model, making the best use of milk cooperatives.  Further, many variations are possible, any model can be adopted as per local conditions, he added.

Mr. Sudhir Rajpal said that he would request their concerned Departments to take up such projects that are economically viable by apprising them of the benefits and subsidies available.  He made a note of the fact that a minimum of 40 tons of cow dung should be available within a cluster of villages to make a project economically viable.

Meanwhile, Mr. Yogesh Sharma informed that Haryana has 6 milk unions and 6000 milk societies, and he will assess the situation and come up with proposals; and Ms. Prachi Jain, Assistant Secretary,  Animal Welfare Board said that she would enquire of the gaushalas and see if they could to take up such schemes.

In conclusion, the AS said that important work had to be done and GOBAR-Dhan had a lot of potential with the Government creating a positive ecosystem, while providing financial assistance, and handholding support.  Hence, it was for the States to make the best use of the opportunity.

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