Non-profit transforms Juinagar wasteland into model green zone WASTE TO ENERGY
Municipal corporation helps NGO remove squatters, use the area to process floral waste into manure and coal
A wasteland near Juinagar railway station, which was partly occupied by squatters and was a hub of illegal activities such as gambling till a month ago, has turned into an environmental education hub within a month.
Nisragpremi Foundation with help from Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) removed encroachers from the land and made it a place to process floral waste into manure and coal. They also barricaded the area are planting saplings to make it a green zone.
Earlier, people used to throw nirmalya (floral waste) into the sewage line which is behind the place. The NGO has placed kalash (pots) along the sewage line and appealed people not to pollute the water. So far, the NGO has collected more than 50 kgs of nirmalaya from the pots.
“We have built two compost pits. The first is for bio-composting where floral waste is processed naturally. The second is for vermi-composting where they are processed using earthworms. It takes nearly 60 days to turn garbage into manure,” said Poonam Hudar, environmental advisor to the NGO.
The NGO has developed the 25,000 square feet area using only sewage water. “A resident had donated us a dewatering pump and we are using it to pump water from the nearby sewage line. So, there has been no water wastage,” she added.
“We are planning to sell the manure to people at half the market price. We have decided to sell for Rs15 per kg. The market price is Rs30 per kg,” she added.
In an effort to keep the peripheral areas clean, the NGO is collecting plastic, papers, and pieces of wood from roads and giving them to rag- pickers for processing.
Sunil Naik, president of the NGO, has plans to turn the area into a hub of environmental studies. School and college students will be shown how a ‘waste to energy’ project can be started with individual efforts. “We are planning to give them demonstrations which would help shape their ideas. Members of women self- help group are visiting to study it,” said Naik.
Additional municipal commissioner SV Pattiwar and mayor Sudhakar Sonawane visited the area and applauded the NGO members. “This is one of the best projects in Navi Mumbai. People should take inspiration from it to make the city a better place,” Pattiwar said.
Several residents have come up to donate for the green project. “A man came to us and donated us Rs10,000 on Tuesday. We are grateful to the donors,” Hudar said.
The barricaded and well-maintained walkways at Juinagar give the area a neat look.