A.J. Vinayak

A.J. Vinayak focuses on issues related to agri and rural life in his surroundings. Rather than the game of cricket, the business of cricket interests him and writes on it occasionally.

A J Vinayak

Enter LPG, exit gobar gas

A.J. VINAYAK | Updated on March 09, 2013 Published on March 09, 2013

LPG

The day LPG entered the rural kitchen was the beginning of the end of gobar gas units. This was how a rural banker observed the impact of LPG on rural lifestyle recently.

According to that banker, Dakshina Kannada district had more than 10,000 gobar gas units in rural areas. But now hardly a few hundred such units are seen. Most of those installed earlier are defunct now.

The banker says that a non-subsidised LPG cylinder costs around Rs 900-plus in the district.

The initial cost of setting up of a gobar gas plant is estimated at around Rs 20,000. After taking the government subsidy for such plants into account, the cost will come to around Rs 10,000 a unit. Banks offer loans to farmers for setting up the units with a repayment period of seven years.

With this, a farmer will have to pay around Rs 1200 a year (or Rs 100 a month) as EMI for the unit.

The gobar gas unit leads the farmer to take advantage of other indirect benefits. He says that cow dung is the main ingredient in a gobar gas unit. This will make the owner of the house to rear at least two cows. The benefit of rearing cows is that it will ensure supply of milk for family consumption and for sale. The slurry from the gobar gas unit will serve as manure for plants.

Then why rural people prefer LPG? Unlike gobar gas unit that requires regular maintenance, LPG cylinder is easy to handle, he adds.

Is this an indication that we are closing another source of renewable energy?

vinayak.aj@thehindu.co.in

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Published on March 09, 2013
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