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BIOGAS PROJECT@ Pench, Madhya Pradesh


India is home to more than 24 crore households, out of which about 10 crore households still do not have access to Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and have to rely on firewood, coal, dung cakes etc. for cooking and heating purposes. The smoke from burning these fuels causes alarming levels of pollution and adversely affects the health of all household members, especially women who end up spending a large part of their time in the kitchen and susceptible children, causing respiratory diseases/disorders. As per a WHO report, smoke inhaled by women from unclean fuel is equivalent to burning 400 cigarettes in an hour.
In places where LPG facility has been provided, the villagers still do not use it as it involves expenditure. They are habituated to chulhas (burners) which run on firewood as fuel. They venture out into the forest to collect firewood, a free source of fuel for the chulhas. Daily collection of firewood leads to deforestation and also gives way to human-wildlife conflicts.

Need for the project

In the Ari range of Pench Tiger Reserve, locals collect firewood for the forests, thus degrading an important wildlife corridor. One family needs about 10-15 kgs of firewood as fuel for their chulhas daily. Such high is the requirement of  firewood and hence, habitat destruction.

Proposed solution

Using biogas instead of firewood for household cooking and heating purposes.

Why biogas?

  • does not require wood as fuel
  • produces high class fuel for cooking
  • takes care of bio waste generated by livestock
  • low cost and almost cost-free maintenance

Project Biogas execution

Green Works Trust partnered with Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) to execute this project. 70 biogas units were installed in households in the Ari range. 51 others which were non-functional were repaired and serviced. In all, we reached out to 121 households in which their kitchens now run on biogas.

Benefits of the project

  • Every biogas unit saves about 1000 kgs fuelwood per year.
  • This project prevents habitat destruction and saves more than 600 trees every year from being chopped.
  • Reduces health problems, especially of women who spend long hours in the kitchen
  • Saves human effort of cutting, collecting and carrying firewood
  • Prevents locals from venturing out into forests; hence, reduces human-animal conflicts

As a summary of the project, we can put an infographic mentioning key highlights:

  • 121 biogas units given to households
  • Saving 600 trees every year
  • Preventing 500+ tons of carbon emission