Special Correspondent

Nagapattinam: The Government Higher Secondary School at Prathabaramapuram in the district is the first institution to get an ecosan toilet.

G.Radha, Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency, Nagapattinam, on Tuesday, declared open the toilet built by the Prathabaramapuram panchayat with the Nirmal Gram Puraskar (NGP) award prize money.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Radha stressed the need for using the new technology for conversion of what was thought as waste in the past to wealth for ensuring sustainable development. Such facilities provided in schools would help to spread the message of ecosan from child to child, child to parents and parents to the community.

Lakshmi, District Educational Officer, said that schools should be provided with adequate number of toilets and pointed out that the Government had launched a scheme to construct toilets in a phased manner in all the schools. She appreciated the construction of sanitary napkin incinerator in the toilets for girls.

M. Subburaman, Director, Society for Communication and Peoples Education (SCOPE), said that the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore, had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the SCOPE for study of storage of urine in Indian conditions and application of urine as fertilizer for different crops like banana, paddy and sugarcane.

He pointed out that while the ecosan toilet would provide a much needed facility for the students it would also establish and popularise the efficacy of urine as a liquid fertilizer. Urine has appreciable quantities of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous and heavy metal concentration is much lower than most of the chemical fertilizers. Studies made a by scientists of TNAU for two years has proved that use of urine fertigation (application of urine for crops) has resulted in increase in yield and saving of water.

R.V. Swaminathan, President of Prathabaramapuram Panchayat who presided, said the village had received Rs. four lakhs as NGP award last year and said that part of the prize money was spent for the construction of the first ecosan toilet in a Government higher secondary school in the village, the first in the State.

V. Ganapathy, Advisor, Exnora, Tiruchi district, said that the ecosan toilet was built at a cost of Rs.one lakh of which Rs. 80,000 was given by the Prathabaramapuram Panchayat from its NGP award prize money and Rs. 20,000 by the DRDA. The toilet complex has nine urinals and the impact of using urine for the mango trees will also be studied, he said.

G. Kanagasundaram, President of Kameshwaram Panchayat, S. Krishnaswami, Headmaster of the Government HSS, G.K. Krishnaveni and others spoke.