Chennai

Poonamallee Municipality offers free manure to farmers

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The composting unit set to work only in February this year, and it is already showing impressive results

For decades, A. Elagovan, a marginal farmer from Kannapalam village near Poonamallee, nourished his three-hectare paddy field with cow dung procured from his cattle-owning neighbours.

He has now found an alternative source for manure — the compost yard of Poonamallee Municipality. At this facility, every day, 2.5 tonnes of organic manure is said to be generated from kitchen waste collected from households within the Municipality limits.

He has recieved 12 tonnes of organic manure from the Municipality, free of cost. He is one of five farmers within the local body limits who have received free organic manure from the Municipality so far.

By producing a farmer identity card issued by the government, farmers can receive free manure from the Municipality.

Except for farmers, people have to pay Rs.5 for every one kilogram of manure they may want to have.

The project, aimed at making the most of the bio-degrdable waste generated in the region, is led by the Commissioner of Poonamallee Municipality, S. Chitra, and Municipal Chief Engineer, V. Muthukumar.

The Poonamallee Municipality team visited many local bodies in other districts to compare and evaluate their practices and finally settled on the Tiruchirappali model, which they found to be easy and cost-effective.

“Compost yards were constructed in September 2017, but the operations began only this February. Farmers and residents who are into kitchen gardening will be given priority,” says the Chief Engineer.

With a team of 50 sanitary workers, the generated waste is segregated at its nine compost yards including Sundar Nagar, Parivakkam, Nanbargal Nagar, Lakshmipuram and Amma Nagar. Each compost yard can handle 4.2 metric tonnes of garbage. Every day, on an average, 21 tonnes of waste including 13 tonnes of kitchen waste is generated from 98,000 households in the neighbourhood. On an average, 2.5 tonnes of organic manure is generated from these yards every day. Another interesting feature of its solid waste management project is that the money collected by selling plastic waste is distributed equally among sanitary workers.

Two weeks ago, the Municipality started involving the local community in solid waste management. It sought the cooperation of residents in segregating waste into biodegradable and non-biodegrdable waste before handing it over to the conservancy staff.

Segregation of waste at source will be of immense help to the staff at the compost yard.

Therefore on a pilot basis, the Municipality has distributed bins (green and blue) to residents of Ganga Nagar and Ambal Nagar.

For more details, call 044-26491611 / 87545 78106.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 11:06:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/poonamallee-municipality-offers-free-manure-to-farmers/article23697680.ece

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