Sabarmati jail has become the country’s first green prison

Here is a first of its kind green initiative aimed at both saving fuel and minimising environmental hazards. The Sabarmati Central Jail authorities have joined hands with solar thermal technology company Flareum Technologies to use energy efficient technology for in-house cooking.

The initiative has the backing of the Home Ministry and the involvement of the prisoners who are now using this cost effective system to make it a ‘green prison’. The pilot project will showcase how public utilities could use cost efficient technology for the benefit of all.

Under the project, the solar technology company has installed 24 concentrated solar dishes which generate steam at high temperature to cook food for 3000 prisoners daily. “The company recognises that good utilisation of green technology is now good economics and we are pleased to be the pioneers of this technology. It will also be a major contributor towards reducing carbon footprint,” Badal Shah, chairman and managing director, Flareum Technologies said.

The new system will save fuel costs of around Rs. 20 million per annum and reduce 72,000 tonnes of carbon emissions annually over the anticipated 25-year life of the system. Central Jail solar-powered system replaces traditional firewood and gas-fired cooking. The project installation and commissioning cost is around Rs. 50 to 60 lakh and the savings with this system for the authorities is around Rs. 20 lakh per annum, since there is a clear saving of around 24,700 kg of LPG per year for the jail authorities.

The kitchen in Sabarmati Jail earlier was coal and gas based that produces hazardous gases such as CO2 and SO2, but with the commencement of the steam cooking system the gases have been eliminated, turning the kitchen ‘green’.

In the central jails it is the prisoners with life imprisonment that cook for all the inmates, and by using this system the jail authorities are able to give a cleaner and a healthier environment to the staff and the inmates.