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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Bus stand bathed in darkness as biogas power plant lies idle
Wasted resources:A 5 KV power generator lying idle at the Salem Integrated New Bus Stand for several years now. -Photo: P. Goutham 

The Night Soil-based Biogas Plant installed at a cost of Rs. 14 lakh to generate five KV electricity for supplying to 100 tube lights at the Salem Integrated New Bus Stand is lying idle for a year now.

This results in a portion of the bus stand going without power and paving way for anti-social activities.

The Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) had contributed Rs. 2 lakh for the project, while the Salem Corporation had contributed the remaining Rs. 12 lakh for installing the public toilet-linked bio gas plant near the first platform.

The process involves recycling and reuse of human excreta from public toilets through biogas generation by anaerobic digestion as the microorganisms break down biodegradable material and produce methane gas to run the 5 KV generator.

As biogas plant effluent can be discharged safely into water bodies without causing pollution, sanitation and bio-energy are added advantages.

But the generator that can produce 4,000 watt of power for running 100 tube lights has been lying idle for years.

A corporation official said that due to a block in the supply line from the public toilet to the biogas plant, power cannot be produced.

He added that the supply line was beneath the small park near the public toilet and it was not attended to for more than a year.

Around 100 tube lights on the bus premises were not working, leaving the place free for anti-social elements to carry out their activities. The safety of the passengers was also in jeopardy due to the absence of lights.

Corporation Commissioner M. Ashokan said that efforts are being taken to clear the block and the plant will be in full run in a week's time.

He said human excreta-based biogas system improves sanitation, makes energy available and reduces green-house effect, so and hence another plant near the second platform would be installed soon.

Microorganisms break down biodegradable material to produce methane gas


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