DRDO to launch green toilets for civilians
Kasturi Ray Express News Service - BHUBANESWAR
24th June 2012 12:13 PM
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in a first of its kind attempt, will launch, not missiles, but bio-toilets for use by civilians. Scheduled to be dedicated to the nation on Sunday at Dhamra, 64 km from Bhadrak district, the bio-toilets project was conceived by the Ministry of Defence in collaboration with Ministry of Rural Development.
With the objective of reducing open defecation and increasing sanitation, the project has been based on DRDO’s Bio-Digester technology developed by Defence Research and Development Establishment (DRDE), Gwalior, and Defence Research Laboratory (DRL), Tezpur, two constituent laboratories under DRDO.
The technology was used to decompose biological waste generated by soldiers deployed in high-altitude regions such as Siachen and Ladakh. It degrades and converts the human waste into usable water and gasses in an eco-friendly manner. The generated gas can be utilised for energy/cooking and water for irrigation purposes. The process involves the bacteria which feeds upon the fecal matter inside the tank, through anaerobic process which finally degrades the matter and releases methane gas that can be used for cooking, along with the treated water. Highlighting the technical aspects and features of bio-digester technology, Dr W Selvamurthy, Chief Controller (R&D Life Science & International Cooperation) stated, “The bio digester technology is an innovative and cost effective solution for a mega problem of water pollution and health hazard due to open defecation.
The effluent coming out of the bio digesters is odourless and harmless and could be used for gardening and irrigation as well. Minister of State (I/C) Statistics and Programme Implementation and Minister of State for Chemicals and Fertilizers Srikant Jena and Minister of Rural Development and Drinking Water and Sanitation, Government of India, Jairam Ramesh are expected to be present at the inauguration.
The research body held a meeting with the RD Minister introducing him to the new technology and desired it be adopted in the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) that funds construction of toilets in rural households. Earlier, DRDO and FICCI had entered into a MoU for DRDO-FICCI Accelerated Technology Assessment & Commercialisation (ATAC) programme.
The DRDO-FICCI ATAC programme is a unique initiative of DRDO and FICCI that aims for commercialisation of cutting edge technologies developed by various DRDO labs for civilian applications. The RD Ministry will be implementing bio- toilets in its sanitation campaign providing privacy to rural folks apart from dealing with waste management. CTRAN Consulting, a BASIX group company dealing with sustainability solutions, has provided techno-managerial coordination for this project.
Bio-digester would cost Rs 15,000 (approx) and plans are afoot to launch it in thousands of gram panchayats.
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