TOUR REPORT OF VISIT TO KERALA

      I visited Kerala State on 8th and 9th May, 2009.

8th May, 2009
Waste to Electricity Project: First visited Sreekariyam Gram panchayat
where a waste to electricity project was installed by an NGO – Bio Tech. The
project details are placed below. The advantage of this project is that it is
located within the market compound thereby avoiding the problem of
collection of waste. Fish, animal and vegetable waste is used to generate bio
gas. The stored biogas runs a single-mode (does not use kerosene, diesel or
petrol for starting or as additive) gas engine to generate electricity for about
four hours daily in the evening to light the market and street. Every month
about 100 kg. of slurry compost is removed and given to farmers free of cost.

      The Gram Panchayat gives Rs.90,000/- as O&M cost per annum to the
NGO and they get the benefit of a clean environment and free electricity for
market and the streets. It is a good model for replication in vegetable and
fish markets in other places. The Director of Biotech Mr. Saji Das can be
invited to the SLWM consultation by DDWS.

      The State Govt is considering a project to increase the capacity of the
plant from 250 kgs per day to 750 kg. per day at a cost of Rs.10 lakh. Under
TSC, the State Govt. has a policy of giving Rs.1.5 lakh for Solid & Liquid
Waste management from the TSC fund based on proposals prepared by the
panchayats.     In this case for the expansion project, it is proposed to get
Rs.1.20 lakh from TSC and the remaining from State plan funds. 226 semi-
urban GPs have been identified for taking up Solid Waste management
projects. Staffs of these GPs are being trained for solid waste management.
Every household with more than 4 cents land would have its own
decentralised compost pit. Projects would be sanctioned only where the GP
plans for 100% coverage of households in a ward/GP with solid waste
management both decentralised and centralised.

Composting latrines (Ecosan): Next went to Adimalathurai, Kottakal GP.
This is a village of mainly fishing households. About 120 houses have dry
compost latrines here originally introduced by Mr. Paul Calvert under eco-
sanitation programme. Originally ecosan toilets were given free of cost or at
nominal cost to the households. Later they were asked to construct them on
their own. They were paid Rs.2200/- subsidy from TSC and GP funds. The
unit cost ranged from Rs.7, 000 – 12,000/-. Shri Selvaraju,    constructed an
ecosan toilet at a cost of Rs.4, 000/- because he used the existing roof of his
house. Smt. Philome had constructed a water seal single pit latrine with a
depth of 1 meter before Mr. Paul Calvert came here and has not faced the
problem of water overflow so far.

      Smt. Selvi, Shri.Dasan, Smt. Lourdumary who have constructed
ecosan toilets are satisfied with the toilets. They say that there is no fly or
mosquito menace. Some of them have sold the compost sold for Rs.25 –
Rs.100. However, I found that these toilets are yet to become very popular
with the local people. They were constructed mostly by people who were
personally motivated by Mr. Paul Calvert and the local church.         On the
seashore side of the road in the village I found many houses with no toilets
and some with water-seal toilets constructed above ground with closed
concrete chambers.     The waste water-flow is sucked out by Municipal or
private agencies. In this GP, there are 407 households without toilets, open
defecation is present and the GP Secretary was told to cover these remaining
houses to make the GP Nirmal.
      Balaramapuram vegetable and fish market Bio digester unit has
also been installed by Bio Tech. The gas is used by the adjoining Ayurvedic
hospital. Expansion is being planned to tackle additional waste and the power
generated from this will light up the market and street. This GP has a very
active and involved President who has, on his own initiative provided 150
households with household bio-gas units by providing Rs.9500/- per unit. But
these are not linked to toilets and only use household waste. The GP has also
assisted in setting up 150 vermi compost units. Unfortunately these units are
not functional at present, the reason being lack of training of the beneficiaries
and their adding inappropriate wastes.

       In the afternoon, I had a meeting with Secretary, Local Self
Government, Shri Jose and addressed the District TSC Coordinators from all
over the State. I made the following observations:

       1.     Kerala should aim to become Nirmal State by 2009 by providing
              the remaining IHHLs, school toilets, anganwadi toilets and
              sanitary complexes.
       2.     Govt. of India is looking towards Kerala for good models of solid
              and liquid waste management.        The best models should be
              documented and sent to the Department for uploading on our
       3.     Liquid waste management models should be initiated.
       4.     Toilets for fishermen should be constructed in collaboration with
              other agencies like Fishery Development Corporation, religious
              leaders, etc.
       5.     The District Coordinator of Wayanad said that solid waste
              management is being done in the district by convergence with
              NREGA. Household compost pits are provided to BPL families
              under NREGA paying one man-day’s wage. Next they propose
              to provide household soak pits at a cost of Rs.300 – 400/- with 2
              man-day’s wages and material. This is a good model of
              convergence and can be replicated by other States.

       Next, visited Attingal Municipality which is a model of good solid
waste management. The Municipality has two arrangements for Solid Waste
Management. Wastes from markets and public places are taken for Windrow
composting. Wastes from households are taken for vermicomposting.
       As regards windrow composting a lessee who engages women SHGs
is entrusted the work of collection with vehicles provided by the Municipality,
segregation, composting. 14 women are engaged for segregation and
composting. Wastes are also collected directly from shops by the women
members of SHGs. The shops are charged Rs.50/- per month. The SHG has
been given a lorry and 2 pick up vans by the municipality. The compost from
windrow composting is sold at Rs.2/- per kg. The income for the women is
from monthly charges, sale of compost. The running costs are to be met out
of this income and the net income per woman comes to about Rs. 80/- per
       The second type of system is for household wastes The wastes are
collected in two auto rickshaws from 1500 households and houses are
charged @ Rs.40/- per month. The vermi-compost is sold to the Agriculture
Dept. outlet at Rs.8/- per kg. 24 SHG members are involved in this work and
they earn around Rs.2000 – 3000 p.m. Plastic shredder is being installed for
plastic waste. Household waste is more profitable because it can be vermi-
composted. Hence segregation of biodegradable household waste at
household level can be more profitable for the municipality/GP. Households
follow this if they are constantly made aware and reminded.

       9th May, 2009
       Anganwadi toilet: On 9th May, visited an anganwadi toilets in Kalavoor
village, Mararikulam G.P., Alleppy district which cost Rs.9600/- of which
Rs.5000/- came from TSC and Rs.4600 from panchayat.                 This is a
prefabricated unit with three rings underground below the toilet unit.     219
similar units have been installed so far in the district. It is child friendly,
easy to install and looks quite durable.           It is a good model for
replication. Earthworm farming unit: Visited earthworm farming unit of Shri
Regunatha Karta, Thuravoor. He earns about Rs. 6 – 7 lakh p.a. by
earthworm farming by using plant wastes mainly harvesting of water hyacinth.
This is a very profitable model and if the farmers are trained, can serve as a
good income generating vocation.

       Visited waste water treatment and rain water harvesting system in
Sarovaram Hotel.       Ms. Latha Jaigopal, the architect who designed this
explained the design. There are 3 piping systems – one for drinking and
cooking purpose from municipal water, one for washing and flushing etc. from
rain water harvesting tanks and the third pipe is for treated waste water which
is used for gardening. The rainwater harvesting is done over the entire hotel
area and filtered into a lined groundwater water body. The cost came to
Rs.0.45 per litre as against Rs. 2-4 per litre for conventional rainwater
harvesting methods. Land is required but the end result is a beauty spot in the
hotel premises. The hotel waste water goes through a septic tank, a baffled
reactor, a root zone treatment tank and then a pond with duckweed before it is
pumped out for gardening.       The cost of the waste water and rain water
harvesting system was recovered by the hotel in three years by saving on the
water cost they would otherwise have paid to the municipality. I requested
Ms. Jaigopal to take up a research and development project on waste
water treatment in one or two GPs in Ernakulam district. She can be
invited to attend our SLWM workshop to share her experiences.

Community toilet complex, Eloor GP, Ernakulam: The complex consists
of 2 toilet seats and 2 bathrooms and is used by 16 families.           They are
charged Rs.50/- p.m. The income goes to the care taker who is a widow.
Water & electricity bills are paid by GP.
A Solid waste management plant is also being run by the GP. 14 women
and 3 men are employed covering 700 families. Each household is charged
Rs.30/- pm. and shops Rs.50/- pm for collection. The women get an income
of around Rs.1300 – 1500/- per month. This plant was not as well organised
as the other one seen in Attingal.

Girl friendly toilet- Muppathalam, Kadungallur GP: Three units of one
toilet, urinal and incinerator each costing Rs.55, 000/- of which Rs.20, 000/- is
from TSC and Rs.35, 000/- from the panchayat have been constructed. The
sanitary pads are disposed from within the toilet through a chute into an
external incinerator and burnt with firewood. Similar model of girl friendly toilet
has been set up in a number of higher secondary schools.

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