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Power of onion: Rotten onion to be used in power production in MP

Hit with a problem of plenty, the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to generate electricity and produce manure from rotten onions that has lead to protests across the Central Indian state.

bhopal Updated: Jul 13, 2017 12:59 IST
About one lakh quintal of onion has rotten so far, data available with the Madhya Pradesh State Cooperative Marketing Federation, showed.
About one lakh quintal of onion has rotten so far, data available with the Madhya Pradesh State Cooperative Marketing Federation, showed.(PTI)

Hit with a problem of plenty, the Madhya Pradesh government has decided to generate electricity and produce manure from rotten onions that has lead to protests across the Central Indian state.

The Shivraj Singh Chouhan government decided to procure onions for Rs eight a kilogram to quell unrest following death of six farmers in police firing in Mandsaur in June.

A bounty crop of 34 lakh quintal this summer caused the protest and the government bought 7 lakh quintal in a short span but did not had space to store them.

About one lakh quintal of onion has rotten so far, data available with the Madhya Pradesh State Cooperative Marketing Federation, showed.

To deal with this problem, the Jabalpur district administration has decided to use the rotten onion as a waste to generate electricity at a non-conventional power plant in Kathonda.

“The disposal has become a big problem for us,” district collector Mahesh Chandra Choudhari said. “A large number of people mainly the poor rush to the railway station and dumping grounds to pick onion for use. If they consume rotten onion, it could affect their heath.”

Hence, Chandra said, they have decided to dump the rotten onion at the power plant that faces shortage of solid waste needed to run the plant efficiently. The cost of generating power from onion would be Rs 6 per unit, almost double from polluting coal and about 50 paisa higher than solar.

In addition, the government has also decided to convert onion into manure.

“Jabalpur administration has taken a good step and nearby district can dump their onion at the power plant,” Madhya Pradesh State Cooperative Marketing Federation, managing director, Dnyaneshwar Patil said. “But it is not possible to send the onion from other districts for power generation as transportation cost will add to the losses. We have asked them to dump the onion to produce manure.”

New and renewable energy department principal Secretary Manu Srivastava, said, “It is a very good decision. Due to shortage of waste products, the water based power plant is not being utilised properly. Extra transportation cost is an issue. Otherwise, onion from distant places could have brought to the plant too.”

ends