Community initiative powers Pali Hill street lights

Residents set up waste processing plant with BMC, pvt. help

Updated - May 07, 2018 04:37 pm IST

Published - May 06, 2018 11:20 pm IST - Mumbai

Roads in Pali Hill on Sunday were lit up by 68 halogen street lights. What was different, however, was that they were powered by energy generated through wet waste collected from 78 buildings and 23 bungalows in the area.

The joint project of the Pali Hill Residents Association (PHRA), the Brihanamumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Yasasu EMS, a company working in the anaerobic digestion technology space, was launched at the Pali Hill Water Reservoir on Sunday.

Cost management

Set up at a cost of ₹30 lakh, the power plant, Yasasu Green, has the capacity to process one metric tonne of waste per day and can generate 170-180 kwh energy per day. Madhu Poplai, secretary, PHRA, said the project began with the simple act of residents starting to segregate waste in 2016. The PHRA plans to increase the number to LED street lights to a 100 in a month.

Ms. Poplai said they were able to bring down the project cost to ₹30 lakh from the estimated ₹70 lakh because there was already a power transformer just six feet from the biogas plant. “The area earlier generated 2.2 metric tonnes of garbage. We took the initiative to segregate waste with the help of the solid waste management department of the H/West ward, and now the waste generated is around 800 kg,” she said. The plant is estimated to save the civic body ₹8-10 lakh per annum in electricity bills.

Organic farming

Apart from powering the street lights, the electricity generated at the plant will be used for captive utilisation. The compost from the plant will be distributed to residents for gardening, and will be used by the BMC in flowerbeds in the area. The BMC will also hand over two land parcels to the PHRA to grow organic vegetables using the compost. These vegetables will be supplied to orphanages and old-age homes in the area.

Road ahead

Yashas Bhand, director, Yasasu EMS, said, “No waste should be treated as waste, but as a useful resource. We will continue to create better technology and waste processing plants ensuring financial viability.”

Bandra West MLA Ashish Shelar, who helped PHRA get CSR funding for the project, encouraged other resident welfare associations and advanced locality managements to undertake such initiatives, and assured his help. “By 2019, we should develop 10 projects like this,” he said.

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