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‘Gobar-Wood’ To Reduce Pollution Levels In Agra This Holi

In a bid to reduce deforestation and curb air pollution, wood logs produced by inmates of district jail by compressing cowdung in a machine has been made available in markets of Agra city to be used as firewood for Holi rituals and other religious ceremonies

'Gobar-Wood' To Reduce Pollution Levels In Agra This Holi

Agra: An experimental project to produce “gobar-wood” for holi has offered new hope to bring down pollution levels in the Taj city. For the past one month, inmates of district jail have been producing five to six quintals of “gobar-wood” which is now available at selected outlets in the city for ritualistic burning in the Holi fire. “Gobar-wood” is made by compressing cowdung in a machine to produce logs of three-feet and longer that look like wood.

The local Satya Mev Trust installed three machines to promote “gobar-wood” in place of fire-wood obtained by felling green trees. Mukesh Jain, a trustee, told IANS,

It is an excellent alternative to firewood and the quality is better and the emissions are cleaner

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The district jail has around 180 cows so raw material is available in plenty. Packed in 50 kg bags, the gobar-wood is sold for Rs 6 a kg to popularise its use in ‘havans’, Holi burning, and daily puja in temples. Supreme Court monitoring committee member Raman, told IANS,

We are exploring how firewood use could be replaced by gobar-wood at the cremation grounds in the city. “Gobar-wood is being made at Apna Ghar on Bharatpur Road, Ram Lal Ashram and the district jail. If you want to increase the calorific value, you can add dried leaves, grass, sawwood dust. It produces very little smoke and is well tolerated. We are keeping the costs competitive.

“It is a much better substitute for firewood. The machine cost is hardly Rs 50,000 and only three workers are required. Drying the gobar wood takes time but now that summer is there, it should be easy. We hope more and more people switch over to gobar wood in the interest of saving forests and environment,” Mr. Raman explained. Nand Kishor Goyal, a member of the team, said, “Those who have used it once, have expressed satisfaction with the quality.”

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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swachh India campaign lends support to the Government of India’s Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM). Helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan, the campaign aims to spread awareness about hygiene and sanitation, the importance of building toilets and making India open defecation free (ODF) by October 2019, a target set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he launched Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014. Over the years, the campaign has widened its scope to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and menstrual hygiene. The campaign has also focused extensively on marine pollutionclean Ganga Project and rejuvenation of Yamuna, two of India’s major river bodies.

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