The Rs 25-lakh biogas unit at Tata Motors Hospital in Jamshedpur started functioning from November 7
Waste not, want not is Tata Motors Hospital’s new motto.
The private heal hub in Telco, Jamshedpur, which has been catering to curative needs of 500,000 people in and around the steel city for more than four decades, has now become the first healthcare institution in Jharkhand to launch a biogas plant with the twin objectives of managing solid wastes and supplementing liquefied petroleum consumption.
The Rs 25-lakh infrastructure on the sprawling premises of the hospital became fully operational on November 7 and is capable of converting a whopping 150kg of biodegradable waste into green fuel every day.
Hospital spokesperson Captain P.J. Singh said the plant was, currently, processing 80-90kg of kitchen waste daily to buffer consumption of the more expensive petroleum gas in the canteen. The daily biofuel produced is equivalent to 5.5kg of LPG. A standard household LPG cylinder weighs a little over 14kg and lasts almost a month.
Singh pointed out that the environment department of Tata Motors took the sole initiative to install this eco-friendly infrastructure last month. “It is the first of its kind in the state. We want to promote it as a model project,” he said.
An official of the environment wing said it took four months to install the plant, which was compact both in size and very cost-effective. “Maintenance is negligible,” he claimed, adding that they had obtained necessary permission from the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) before making the plant operational earlier this month.
Biogas typically refers to fuel produced by breakdown of organic matter in the absence of oxygen. It is a low-cost fuel that can be used to even power motor vehicles, besides generating energy for cooking.
Senior health department official S.S. Paswan said for urbanites facing energy crisis, producing this renewable gas was the only solution today. “Biogas from kitchen wastes solves two major problems — LPG crisis and disposal of solid wastes,” he said, appreciating the initiative taken by the corporate hospital.
Elaborating on the efficiency of the new set-up, an official of the environment department of Tata Motors said with merely 12-15kg of kitchen waste a day, the biogas unit could produce enough fuel for 3-4 hours of cooking. “We have not only saved the trouble of disposing wastes, but also reduced LPG consumption. Moreover, the slurry released after production of biogas is being used as manure in the kitchen garden,” he explained.
The hospital has engaged a separate team to sort out and load biodegradable waste into the plant. “The project is economically viable and has high commercial value,” the official added.
Arthur Harim, a senior official of Brahmananda Narayana Hrudayalaya — a super speciality clinic developed by renowned heart surgeon Devi Shetty at Tamolia near Jamshedpur, conceded that Tata Motors Hospital had shown the way. “Other hospitals should try and adopt similar projects,” he said.