Three biogas plants have been set up at the Institute of Chest Diseases, Super Specialty Hospital, and the medical college hospital

The Kozhikode medical college is on a clean-up mode these days. Three of its biogas plants are fully operational and work is on to lay pipes to carry treated sewage water to Connolly Canal.

The three biogas plants, of capacities one tonne, 1.5 tonnes, and six tonnes, have been set up at the Institute of Chest Diseases, Super Specialty Hospital, and the medical college hospital respectively.

Another biogas plant at the Institute of Maternal and Child Health (IMCH) has only minor technicalities to be completed before it is made functional. Two other plants, one behind the IMCH and another near the main canteen, will be constructed soon.

The biogas plants are being constructed at a cost of Rs.1 crore by the Integrated Rural Technology Centre (IRTC), which will also carry out their maintenance.

At present, the medical college generates around 2.5 tonnes of waste, including both biomedical and food waste, in all its allied institutions. The day-to-day running of the plants is being handled by the hospital staff.

No vermin composting

With the commissioning of the biogas plants, the waste generated in the medical college is no longer given to Kudumbasree workers for vermin composting. The authorities have plans to set up waste bins at major points on the campus to prevent littering. The biogas generated by the plants is being used for cooking purpose at the Chest hospital canteen, Men’s Hostel-2, and the Nursing Hostel. But it cannot meet the requirements of the medical college completely.

The gas, at present, is being used only to boil water. It cannot be used for cooking in the real sense, as the pressure of the gas is very low and the flame, very small.

“We had plans to use the gas widely and thus reduce the consumption of LPG on the campus. But, we do not have the technology to provide gas at the required pressure”, Principal of the medical college Dr C. Ravindran told The Hindu.

The two sewage treatment plants on the medical college campus were abandoned for a long time due to strong protest from the residents of Mayanad, where the treated water was to be taken to. They would start operating now, once the work of laying pipes to Conolly canal was completed, Dr.Ravindran said.

Response

Member of the Mayanad Parisara Malineekarana Nimarjana Samithi Suresh Nechivayal said the move to clean up the medical college premises was a positive move from the part of the college authorities and a reward to their 18-year-old struggle.

Mayanad, the region adjacent to the medical college suffered from serious environmental problems created by the disposal of waste from the medical college for the last 40 years.

Mr. Suresh said the new move to clean up medical college premises was a result of a court order. “Let us hope the biogas plants are not yet another eye wash,” he added.

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