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

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan ■ pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

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.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

The bar­ri­caded and well-main­tained walk­ways at Juina­gar give the area a neat look.

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