CHENNAI: With the Chennai Smart City Board ratifying the hyacinth-powered biogas facility in Manali, the city Corporation is going to centralise collection of the invasive weed to ensure its comprehensive removal from waterbodies across the city.
According to Corporation officials, the hyacinth collected every day will be transported to the facility in designated lorries fitted with a crusher. “The water from the hyacinth will be drained and the crusher will enable us to increase the quantity that is removed every day,” said a senior official.
Presently, the civic body has been collecting hyacinth along with floating trash in waterbodies and sending it directly to the Kodungaiyur or Perungudi landfill where it is allowed to rot. The collection and removal are coordinated at the zonal-level and has been ineffective in combating hyacinth blooms.
This mechanism has left the civic body scampering to unclog water channels and ponds right before the onset of the monsoon. The hyacinth removed is often left on the banks and makes it way back into the ecosystems with the rains.
However, officials said centralisation of these tasks will help monitor hyacinth levels across the city and systematically eradicate hyacinth menace over the next few years.
“The biogas facility requires five tonnes of hyacinth every day so there will be no choice but to remove and transport that quantity to the facility to ensure it is operational,” said a senior official, explaining that personnel will be assigned exclusively for hyacinth removal and will be supervised by an assistant engineer.
Environmentalists have welcomed the move to produce biogas from water hyacinth but feel hyacinth blooms should be avoided by reducing contamination of water bodies. “Production of electricity and biogas is a welcome move but hyacinth grows only in polluted water. So they should take steps to check sewage intrusion,” said Arun Krishnamoorthy, an activist.
Rs 3 crore
Cost of biogas facility
Expected power production
Presently, the civic body has been collecting hyacinth along with floating trash in water-bodies and sending it to landfills