Bio-gas power supply for Mahabalipuram
Green initiative by Vivekananda Kendra
By S Chandrasekhar
The Rock Memorial to Swami Vivekananda at mid-sea in Kanyakumari, came up through the vision and selfless mission of Mananiya Eknath Ranade, whom PP Guruji entrusted this massive task. Braving the Christian church which wanted to establish a church there, Eknathji and a band of fisher-folk Swayamsevaks from Kerala put up the memorial with their blood and sweat. Hardly with a rupee in his pocket, Eknathji travelled throughout the country collecting contributions with One Rupee Coupons. He was also able to elicit massive contributions from State Governments. The Rock Memorial was inaugurated in 1970. Then President VV Giri and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had also visited the Rock, later.
The Vivekananda Kendra established by Eknathji, has grown into a massive banyan tree with a huge 100 acre complex in Kanyakumari, hundreds of schools, hospitals, service projects throughout the country with special emphasis on the North-East. The self-help-groups initiated by the Kendra have made women self-reliant and made villages prosperous. The Kendra has also been able to check conversions on a massive scale in north-East and Tamil Nadu.
The Kendra has been taking up projects concerning environment and ecology in a massive way.
The bio-gas generated electricity project of Vivekananda Kendra in Mahabalipuram, a notable tourist destination near Chennai, famous for Pallava age stone carvings and sculptures, has drawn all-round applauses.
Although the Town Panchayat has only a population of around 12,000 in 400 households, tons of food waste and other wastes are generated through the heavy inflow of tourists.
The Kendra established a solid waste management shed for collecting and processing the entire waste for feeding into a 100-Cubic meter volume bio-gas plant.
As a result the entire waste generated in the Tourist Town is disposed, health of place improved and there is cleanliness and hygiene everywhere. The power generated through the bio-gas plant is used for operating the solid waste management plant and for lighting street lamps.
Since the bio-gas plant generates almost 10 kilowatts of electricity, based on recommendations by Tamil Nadu Agricultural University. Energy Agency has sanctioned rupees four lakh as subsidy.
The Natural Resources Development Project of Vivekananda Kendra (NARDEP) has been doing research and field work in the area for the past 10 years and is credited for developing low volume bio-methanantion plants that are suitable for rural and urban households. The NARDEP has also developed bio-gas slurry based agro-inputs package and made dissemination of this technology efficient.
For further details Shri G. Vasudeo, Secretary, Vivekananda Kendra, NARDEP, Kanyakumari-629702 (Tamilnadu) can be contacted at e-mail: [email protected], web: vknardep.org