A novel and ground-breaking technology has helped the Kumbakonam Municipality reclaim 12 acres of prime land that was laid waste after being turned into a garbage dump yard over the years.
Karikulam area on the outskirts of Kumbakonam was infamous for nauseasting odour and smoky environs, the attendant features of any municipal garbage dump yard.
That was until, the civic body decided in 2015 to foray into the pioneering bio mining method of converting garbage into something useful for the society even as it took care of proper processing and disposal of the waste being generated daily in the town.
The Kumbakonam Municipality in July 2015 tasked the Zigma Global Enviro Solutions for undertaking biomining at the Karikulam dumping yard.
Every day, houses and business establishments in the Kumbakonam Municipality generate 70 tonnes of civic waste in several forms from the 45 wards that comprise the local body.
The mandate was to clear the entire waste generated over 20 years and hand over the reclaimed land at the ground level.
The accumulated waste then was estimated to be 1.35 lakh cubic metre.
The concern plunged headlong into the work and its remarkable endeavours resulted in an additional 65,000 cubic metre waste generated in Kumbakonam during the 2016 Mahamaham being handed over to them for biomining, in addition to the original task, says Chairman, Zigma Global Environ Solutions K. P. Mutharasu.
“Under the biomining concept, we stabilise the waste, clear poisonous gases, moisture and remove all microbial activity. Then we go in for segregation of waste to safely dispose the waste according to the provisions of the Solid Waste Management Rules 2016”, according to Zigma Director Nagesh Prabhu.
The aggregates are classified as inert (used to fill up for levelling low lying lands in the vicinity), soil enricher (being sold to farmers) and refuse derived fuel (being supplied to cement companies in Ariyalur).
All waste is used in the novel concept, says another Director B. Dharmaraj.
“Our model was showcased in the Swacch Sarvekshan 2016 as among the best practices while the Kumbakonam Municipality was invited by the Delhi Lieutenant Governor to explain the concept for possible replication there. Ultimately, 12 acres of land has been reclaimed of which already four acres is being utilised as waste composting facility to process the civic waste being generated in the town”, points out Kumbakonam Municipal Commissioner K. Uma Maheshwari.
The project cost estimated to be Rs. 7 crore is being viewed favourably against the cost of the land reclaimed, which is put at Rs. 24 crore besides the safe disposal of accumulated waste and the tag of a pioneering garbage disposal method to boot.
While Kumbakonam site is being touted as the largest bio mining project anywhere in India, similar projects are being now undertaken in Sembakkam, Pammal, Poonnamalle and Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu.