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 More subsidy for biogas plants sought

Biotech, a Thiruvananthapuram-based agency recognised by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, is set to give a proposal to the State government seeking higher subsidy for setting up biogas plants generating energy through waste treatment.
The proposal, coming as it does at a time when the Union government is seriously considering the possibility of restricting subsidy for cooking gas, aims at drawing attention to biogas plants as an attractive mode of generating alternative energy, while addressing the issue of waste treatment.
“As of now, local bodies are permitted by the State government to grant a subsidy of up to Rs. 3,000 for biogas plants.
“This is inadequate. We want the government to grant at least half the cost of setting up the plants as subsidy,” A. Sajidas, director of Biotech, told The Hindu .
The limit imposed by the State government restricts many local bodies, which may otherwise be willing to give more assistance for the plants. Mr. Sajidas said that the ideal situation would be to permit local bodies to grant higher subsidy, as they deemed fit, taking into consideration the garbage issue in their limits.
As of now the Central government grants a subsidy of Rs. 4,000 and Biotech offers an additional Rs. 4,000 as carbon credit for setting up biogas plants.
Biotech is planning widespread demonstrations across the State to drive home the advantages of adopting biogas plants in the prevailing uncertainty over the continuance of subsidy for cooking gas. Applications are being invited from parties interested in holding demonstrations.
Special focus will also be given to holding demonstrations and awareness classes in schools, as it is the best way to get the message to individual households. “Experts from Biotech will visit the place and hold demonstrations. Besides, training will also be imparted to interested parties in setting up and operating biogas plants, as faulty methods could result in a negative fallout,” Mr. Sajidas, who has a doctorate in solid waste treatment, said.
He said that plants developed by Biotech alone are recognised and provided subsidy by the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy in the State.
Protection of vital sources of water from pollution through the operation of centralised waste treatment plants is another advantage of adopting biogas plants. The pollution of Kadamprayar near the solid waste treatment plant at Brahmapuram in Ernakulam is a case in point.
A biogas plant of one cubic metre with the capacity to treat 2 kg of food waste and 20-30 litres of waste water is ideal for a normal household of five members.
Out of the total cost of Rs. 21,000, the beneficiary would have to raise Rs. 13,000 after the Rs. 8,000 offered as subsidy by the Union government and Biotech.


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