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This article appeared in Deccan Herald – http://www.deccanherald.com/content/415526/waste-energy-plant-opened-kr.html 

In a bid to find a solution to the garbage problem that is dotting urban spaces, the Centre would soon set up waste-to-compost projects in 500 cities and towns across the country, said the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers, H N Ananth Kumar.

He was speaking at the launch of the waste-to-energy plant, built by the Nasik-based Ashoka Biogreen using the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) technology, at the KR Market on Monday.

The plant has been set up with an investment of Rs 1.02 crore and has the capacity to process five tonnes of wet waste per day.

The Union Minister said that waste-to-compost manure units will be set up in theCity with the help of the Centre, State government and the BBMP. He invited Mayor B S Satyanarayana and the BBMP Commissioner M Lakshminarayana to sign an MoU with the Union government to convert organic waste to organic manure, produce natural gas and set up waste-to-energy plants.

 

“The chemical fertilisers enhance production but they are also responsible for polluting groundwater, thereby affecting public health. If we can mix at least 30 per cent of organic manure, then the damage to the soil and water from the chemical fertilisers can be reduced substantially,” said Kumar.

He added that, at present, 49 million tonnes of chemical fertiliser is used in India and to meet the demand, the government of India has to largely depend on foreign countries.

This dependence, is a trap, which the Centre wants to reduce, said Kumar.

When it was pointed out that the prices of fertilisers were too high and a burden on farmers, Ananth Kumar mentioned that urea is available at Rs 23,000 per tonne, which is provided to farmers at a highly subsidised rate of Rs 5,000 per tonne.“The subsidy on fertilisers has cost the government of India Rs 1.16 lakh crore. Urea at Rs 5,000 per tonne is the cheapest anywhere in the world,” said the Minister.

Mayor Satyanarayana sought people’s help to keep K R Market clean at least for the sake of hygiene. He told the gathering that the BBMP is setting up bio-methanisation units at 16 places, apart from the KR Market.

BBMP commissioner Lakshminarayana said KR Market produces about 100 tonnes of waste per day but due to the space constraint, only a waste-to-energy unit of five tonne could be set up. He also requested the union minister to formulate a policy which facilitates the waste generated in cities to be utilised as manure