Panchayat in Coimbatore begins generating wealth from waste

Members of Vallari women SHG selling foodprepared using the biogas generated fromprocessing waste at Kurudampalayam panchayat inCoimbatore.

Members of Vallari women SHG selling foodprepared using the biogas generated fromprocessing waste at Kurudampalayam panchayat inCoimbatore.   | Photo Credit: HANDOUT_E_MAIL


When Kurudampalayam village in the district was among those selected in December 2013 for a Rs. 100-crore State-wide solid and resource management project, it came as no surprise for the locals. For, the village of 12,000 families was implementing such a programme months before it became a buzz word for policy makers.

Now, the local body has become among the first in the district to utilise the surplus biogas through waste collected from the panchayat to set up a commercial food venture.

Run by Vallari women’s self-help group, which collects the waste door-to-door twice a day in battery operated vehicles, the food outlet sold its entire stock of 200 parcels of variety rice on Thursday, the first day of its business.

Further, District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) Project Director Tha. Murugan told The Hindu here on Friday that talks were on to sell the surplus biogas with major catering outlets, which can utilise the community kitchen during the spare hours to make their products. The key aspects of this success, he says, are the involvement of locals and segregation of waste at the collection point itself. Further, the project has also provided a dignified livelihood for women.

Two colour-coded dustbins were distributed to the 9,600 households in 15 wards of this panchayat, with directions to dump biodegradable material such as vegetable waste in a green bin and the rest in a red bin.

While the cost of running the six bio-methanation plants and vermicompost yard was around Rs. 3.5 lakh, the revenue generated from this project was Rs. 2.7 lakh last month.

This was a huge increase from just Rs. 30,000 in April, the first month of sales, says Kurudampalayam panchayat president D. Ravi.

The local body sells nearly 68 products such as coconut shells, handbags and plastic covers and other products that can be recycled.

In a related but separate project, the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is installing a biomethanation plant, developed by it, to generate biogas from organic waste for a community kitchen that will feed 250 socio-economically backward families. It is expected to be commissioner shortly.

In Coimbatore, the project is being implemented at nine panchayats of Madukkarai Panchayat Union, four panchayats of Sulur Panchayat Union and one panchayat of Perianaickenpalayam Panchayat Union.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 1:42:04 PM |

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