Matheran wastes cooking gas

Matheran wastes cooking gas Hill station burns biogas that can meet the needs of 300 families

matheran, a hill station 100 km from Mumbai, still relies on horses for transport and is off limits for motor vehicles. In March 2007, the town lived up to its green image by installing a garbage disposal plant that converts organic waste into methane gas and manure. Two years down the line, there are no takers for the gas supplied from the plant that can be used for cooking, electricity generation or as fuel in vehicles. The 250 cubic metres (CuM) of gas produced at the bio-methanation plant every day is now burnt in the open.

The only client the municipality-owned plant had, Usha Ascot Hotel, stopped paying for the gas in April protesting stiff charges; the hotel was using the gas in its kitchens. The municipal council severed the connection in May end. It is now planning to supply the gas (enough to fill a dozen cooking gas cylinders) to two other hotels.

Manohar Tambat, director of the hotel, said the municipal council was arbitrarily charging them Rs 25,000 per month without measuring the gas consumed.