The unprecedented hike in prices and severe shortage of LPG cylinders seem to have had a positive impact on the long-pending and contentious issue of the waste disposal in Ernakulam district. People are flocking to obtain government subsidised biogas plants along with pipe combusts.
“Most of the local bodies, including 51 grama panchayats and 11 municipalities, have applied for the projects for using biogas plants for waste disposal,” said C K Alexander, district coordinator, Suchitwa Mission, the governmental agency handling the project. Along with these local bodies, the Corporation has applied for a project which will see installation of biogas plants at all schools and colleges. According to C K Alexander, the Suchitwa Mission has already given technical sanction to projects submitted by 21 panchayats. “The officials are processing the rest of the projects. Formalities will be finished as soon as possible,” he said.
To get funding, it is mandatory for the panchayats to get technical sanction from the Suchitwa Mission.
Sources said that many other local bodies are also in the process of submitting. The district panchayat and block panchayat which have technical difficulties in formulating projects that will benefit individual beneficiaries are also earmarking money for biogas projects prepared by grama panchayats.
For setting up biogas plants, individual beneficiaries have to just spend only 25 percent of the total cost. The state government will subsidise 50 percent and the particular local body will fund the 25 percent of the total expenses.
For pipe combusts, state government will fund 75 per cent of the total cost and local body will bear 15 per cent of the cost. The present projects are said to be catering only about one sixth of the total need. But with more funds, these projects can be enhanced.
Most of the biogas plants have a capacity of 0.5 cubic metres capacity and are priced between `8,500 and `10,500. Panchayats in the agrarian belts of the district are coming up with projects that will install biogas plants with more capacity.
T K Suresh, health standing committee chairman of Tripunithura municipality that has spearheaded the installation of biogas plants and pipe combusts, told ‘City Express’ that a careful planning and implementation will make wonders. “Our municipality has drastically improved in waste management. This was the result of scientific planning and democratic functioning,” he said.