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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Burning cow dung is still preferred in Ranchi

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The world so far has come to see the consequences of burning fossil fuels, biomass and wood. Alternate sources to these are being searched out, and many of such alternate and eco-friendly non-conventional sources of energy are already in use in view of protecting the environment. Agricultural waste and cow dung have been suggested to be used for producing bio-gas, a viable solution to the energy crisis and a praiseworthy effort to save the environment. Since, Indian farmers are in a habit of getting quick results, may it be at the cost of the fertility of their land or eutrophication or accumulation of black carbon at the Himalayan top, they are still not in a mood to go far organic farming and adopt biogas technology to generate energy on their owns without risking their health and environment. This may be the reason why large scale use of dung produced at dairy farms in rural and urban India for burning on commercial scales is still continued in full swing.

The basic input for life, development and prosperity is energy in its different forms. It is equally essential for the improvement of the quality of life. Since, conventional sources of energy, the fossil fuels, firewood provided by nature are running short; it is now the cry of the day to work harder for the development, improvement and up gradation of renewable sources of energy together with protection, conservation and judicious use and management of these sources. The energy crisis of the earlier days has taught the world a lesson to learn from experiences and to make alternate arrangements well in advance, for the harder days that may come in future. What is the energy crisis? A great shortfall or price rise in the supply of energy resources to an economy is called as energy crisis.

Increasing the efficiency of the use of energy in order to achieve higher useful output for the same energy consumption, saving energy and reducing wastage is called as energy conservation. In today’s conditions energy conservation is important because of following facts that -

It will help increase the national and personal security,

It will increase the financial capital,

It will enhance, the environmental value, It will increase the profit of commercial and industrial users of energy.

Far away from these thoughts, Many Indian farmers are still burning their crop stumps in the open fields, burning dung and earning money by selling dung cakes. No one is there to teach these farmers some lessons on the benefits of biogas generation, protection of environment in general and reduction of Himalayan ice-melts in particular. The government is running a number of energy conservation and development of alternate sources of energy programmes and boasts of remarkable progress but tones of cattle dung produced at dairy farms, and households are converted into dung cakes for earning money and producing lots of black carbon along with other dangerous gases escaping in to the environment and causing the climate change. Until and unless people themselves stand to change the old harmful practices of polluting the environment and wasting the sources of energy, summits like the one that held in Copenhagen will continue for indefinite period or till the end. Some pictures taken by the author himself demonstrate the large scale production of dung cakes for burning on commercial basis in a corner of the Ranchi city of Jharkhand in India.



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Picture 1., 2., and 3 ... thus production of dung cake for commercial purpose goes on



The Finished Product - dried dung cakes, now ready for the market


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