Roar for Tigers

Soon, dhaba owners can generate energy from left-over food

Soon, dhaba owners can generate energy from left-over food

Jun 2, 2015

DEHRADUN: In a first of its kind endeavour, dhaba owners will soon be able to generate energy from left-over food at their eating joints. Making this a reality, the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), India, is all set to launch a pilot project in Ramnagar town wherein dhabha digesters will be provided to eatery owners. The move has been initiated to reduce dependency of domestic and commercial users on fuel wood. A similar pilot project has been implemented in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh. The first biodigester will be installed free of cost at a dhaba in Ramnagar town to be shortlisted by WWF. Giving details, AK Singh, senior official of WWF told TOI, “The dhabha digester will be procured from the Appropriate Rural Technology Institute (ARTI), a Pune-based NGO which manufactures the device. The 200-litre tank costs between Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 as per its size and capacity. As part of the fermentation process, the left-over food and raw materials such as flour, besan etc. when put into the device, will generate methane as energy. This will enable dhabha owners to produce energy instead of buying wood at hefty rates.” The dhabha digester plant is compact and can be used by urban households. As many as 2,000 dhaba digesters are currently in use in urban and rural households in Maharashtra. The design and development of this simple, yet powerful technology has also won ARTI the Ashden Award for Sustainable Energy-2006 under the Food Security category. Manufacturers of the device claim that it is 20 times more efficient as the conventional system.

LK Stephen, another WWF official, said, “Once the pilot project is launched, training will be imparted to local manufacturers to develop the devices.” Stating that the device was more efficient, he added, “The energy generated by mixing 40 kg cow dung and 40 kg water produces biogas. The same is produced by using 1.5 kg left-over food and 15 litres of water on a daily basis. With this, we save 100 LPG cylinders a year. The cow dung as the end product can also be used as fertilizers and vermicompost.” As part of its ongoing study, WWF has shortlisted 88 families from 22 villages around Rajaji Tiger Reserve, Haridwar Forest Division and Dehradun Forest Division, who will be provided LPG cylinders at subsidized rates. Meanwhile, moving a step further to conserve fuel wood, WWF has also distributed bio-gas devises to 20 families at subsidized rates in Ganga Bhogpur and Talla Malla villages, situated on the Song river corridor. For each biogas plant costing Rs 26,239, the WWF has contributed Rs 15,000, while the remaining will be borne by a family. The device will be able to fulfil the fuel needs of a six-member family and three cattle. Further, LPG connections have also been provided to 26 families at half the cost — Rs 2,500. “At present, we are conducting a survey on 88 families among 22 villages spread across Haridwar, Doiwala and Rishikesh to collect information about people using fuel wood. We need information about families and their economic status as this will enable us to select them for the current scheme and consider them for any project in future,” added Singh.



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