Will Karnataka Get Power from Garbage ?

Sep 29, 2009

As we are all aware garbage is the new Frankenstein’s Monster facing mankind threatening its very existence.  With countries all over the world finding it difficult to effectively dispose gallons of waste generated every day, using it as raw material for generating power would be doubly beneficial as we can get rid of the hazardous waste by recycling it and also meet the energy requirements of the country.  A ray of hope of garnering power from garbage seems to be not a distant possibility in Karnataka thanks to the Herculean efforts of K S Siva Prasad. Dy Chairman of State Planning Board D H Shankaramurthy after listening to the presentation made by K S Shiva Prasad recently, has been able to realize the potential and the need of going for green power. He has also promised to give the due attention the project demands. 

It is an altogether another story that Siva Prasad was forced to put his technology into practice in Malaysia after a lackadaisical response from Karnataka government two decades ago.  Just a few months back daijiworld had highlighted this story on how the indigenous technology developed by him was lapped up by Malaysia when he entered into a joint venture with a private party in Malaysia in 2000.  The project was commissioned in June this year, and Siva Prasad has the satisfaction of seeing his innovation becoming a reality. 

Green Power, the concept no doubt is gaining ground everywhere including the East Asian countries which are receptive to new technology of generating green power, that too power from garbage.  As the popular saying it is better late than never, finally after letting the golden opportunity slip away from its hands a few decades back the present Government of Karnataka is showing keen interest to the idea of generating power from garbage. 

Karnataka Government has woken up tardily to the idea of generating green power, i.e. power from garbage.  Impressed by the environment-friendly and environment benign technology Shankaramurthy has now called a meeting of all the stakeholders such as the City Corporation, the Electricity Board, the Pollution Control Board etc., to discuss the feasibility of a project of generating power from garbage. 

For Siva Prasad it is consolation that despite the then Bangarappa government cold-shouldering him when he was ready  with a pilot project of converting waste into green power almost two decades ago,  resulting in the project being lapped up by Malaysia, the present state government is at least  warming up to the idea of green power.  “Shankaramurthy has been able to grasp the crux of the project and has promised to bring the matter to the attention of the Chief Minister and apprise him about the need of the project” says Shiva Prasad who is in Mangalore for a short period to be with his family.  He is confident that the present government would respond positively to his technology.  

He has however, made it clear to Shankarmurthy that the government should zero in on a promoter who is ready to invest in the project. If everything goes right the green power projects might come up in Bangalore, Mysore-Mandya, Shimoga, Bhadravathi and other parts of the state where up to 1000 tons of garbage on a daily basis can get accumulated.     

At 79 Siva Prasad is bubbling with new energy and enthusiasm of a youngster.  It of course stems from the fact that his Kajang Project in Malaysia which had begun in 2004 has been commissioned and the plant has started supplying power to the country’s national grid from June 2009.  His company is now busy commissioning pollution control equipments which will be done in the next one month, to ensure that only clean air goes out.  While implementing the project his company has followed the German standard of emission which is considered to be the toughest in the world.  

Siva Prasad with his daughter Chellam and wife Sharadha

There is no doubt that it is the satisfaction of the project being a success that keeps his enthusiasm levels soaring despite his advancing age.  His wife Sharada feels her husband is racing against time and want his innovation to be put for good use, especially in his own motherland.  Making his dream a reality has not come easily for the family.  The couple had to make lot of compromises and living apart (Sharada stays with daughter Chellum in Mangalore) at this ripe age after years of togetherness has not been easy for them.  Siva Prasad with his son has to stay back in Malaysia to oversea the project.  “Imagine going home after a hard days work with no one to even open the doors.   But success does not come without sacrifices”, says Sharada with wifely concern.  

The Kajang plant with a 9 MW capacity is the first operating plant in Eastern Asian region is collaboration between a private Malaysian firm and Siva Prasad which he terms “as a milestone”.  Needless to say he is a happy and contented man having been able to see his dream becoming a reality, though in an alien land.  To add to his cup of joy is the fact that now the Malaysian government has allotted another similar project to Siva Prasad in Johor, a designated garbage site very close to Singapore.  

The new project is agreed upon on the BOT policy (build, operate and transfer) which means the project will be bought on completion by paying the entire cost. The work has already begun and an agreement to this effect will soon be finalized.   Impressed by this eco-friendly technology the Malaysian government, he says, is mulling over adopting this technology in the entire country in a phased manner, which shows the Malaysian government is fully confident of the feasibility of the project.    “It is easy making a project abroad than in India.  But now I see the beginning of a change, a change for the better.  Once the change is effected it will start working faster. Countries like Indonesia and Thailand are also bit by the bug of power from waste as they are also showing interest in this project”, opines Siva Prasad.    

The plant in Malaysia processes 1000 tons per day of waste in a 28 acre facility. The capacity of the power plant is 9 MW and the project cost was 50 million US $, a one time investment.  Siva Prasad has also been concentrating on upgrading the technology for the new project on the basis of the experience he has garnered in commissioning the first project.  The main problem is in assessing the quality of the garbage.  “The quality of the garbage is uncertain.  One cannot foresee the problem in a non-standard material.  So we were very careful in building redundancy in the first project.   As the plant is working perfectly we are very confident to carry out the next project”, declares Siva Prasad.   

Siva Prasad wants the technology to be adopted in the entire country. But there is a hitch.  Since waste is generally handled by governments he wants the government to supply the garbage to his plant without any tipping fee.  “It is a strange paradox that in a country like Malaysia the government pays us for cleaning the garbage.  I want the central government to pay the tipping fee so that we are not involved in bargaining with the Corporation officials.  With special power subsidy available for renewable source of energy government should compensate directly to the electricity board so that there are no hassles on our way”, says Siva Prasad who has also taken up the matter with the central government.  

Siva Prasad feels that India has the potential to generate about 1000 MW of green power from garbage which will greatly help the country to tide over the energy crisis and at the same time help dispose the waste in an eco-friendly way.  What is needed is a policy initiative from the government keeping in tune with the changing times and requirements.  

First Update on Daijiworld:

by Florine Roche - Daijiworld Media Network
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Comment on this article

  • Leon, Bangalore/Australia

    Fri, Oct 02 2009

    Thanks to Daijiworld for this wonderful article. I hope Mr. K S Siva Prasad will be given "The Bharat Ratna Award" for his contribution to the entire world. In the article it was mentioned "India's Loss and Malaysia's Gain", I hope there will soon be an article "The Universe Gain's India's Pride ". If Indian Government fails to bring such pioneering ideas to fruition some other country will help such great talent to shine. Since this great Project has seen its success and benefits, we don't have to reinvent the wheel just implement it.

  • Walter Saldanha, Kemmannu-Udupi

    Fri, Oct 02 2009

    Definately.We don't have to collect it from the dumps. We have enough in the V. Soudha

  • Milton Lewis, Udipi/Dubai

    Thu, Oct 01 2009

    This is a unique project and should yield results. There is a huge garbage dump across Udipi, (you are forced to block your nose when the Bus crossing the area) is an ideal source of raw material. Please implement this in Udipi too.

  • Jeevan, Mumbai

    Thu, Oct 01 2009

    Congrats to Mr.Prasad for his successful project implementation in Malaysia.I suggest he approach Mr.Narayana Murthy of Infosys or Mr Azim Premji of Wipro who have the money to invest and understand technology.They would be ready to invest in such projects in India.

  • Edward D'Mello, Mumbai / Dubai

    Wed, Sep 30 2009

    Brilliant article. Please keep posting such articles about people who can make a difference to our lives.

  • Royster, Mangalore

    Wed, Sep 30 2009

    I think we should just tell the government to go to hell... The city of Mangalore has enough people who can invest in the project and we can be self sufficient.. If the government puts up a power project in DK it will be mainly to supply power to Bangalore. I think we should come together and do this for ourselves.

  • Rolphy Almeida, Kalmady/Bangalore

    Wed, Sep 30 2009

    How much? This is the normal question from our Government official. It is not how much garbage you can clear in a day? It is not how much power you can generate in a day? It is how much you will be able to fill in my pocket to install this plant? How unfortunate are we? We ignore our own technology and people when outsiders invite them and honour them.

    As Mr. Shiva Prasad rightly said, that it is easier to install such a plant in a foreign country than in India. This is because of our corrupt bureaucratic hurdles political backwardness. What we citizens can do is to pray for Mr. Shiva Prasad’s good health and long life till he achieves his goal of 1000 MW power for India from the garbage.

  • Charles D'Mello, Pangala

    Wed, Sep 30 2009

    This news has come in Daiji world long back. Now that the project is completed in Malaysia and our Government is yet to open its eyes..!!??? Hope they open their eyes, for the betterment of next generation atleast..!!???

  • philomena, kinnigoli

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    I am very proud that mr siva prasad from karnataka before we blaming the govt for anything we all the house wives should know to segrigate our own dustbean that is to say wet and dry wet will be used as manure and dry will be recycled wet is from the nature what we got frm the nature will take back even from our hair to bone fruit peals vegetable waste. dry like plastics bottels thermocol which makes noise. so let us start the work from our houses iteself so that we can support the idea of mr prasad so that we can also say namma kannada naduhasiru nadu.

  • Roshan, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    Rightly said Jerome,your idea is good.

  • Ajay, Mangalore/kuwait

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    Congratulations to Mr.Siva Prasad for his knowledge, efforts and inginuity towards the progress for our State of Karnataka (no pun intended) and the country. it is delightful to know of Indian knowledgable hores, makes me proud to be a magalorean. Sadly, the government has been sleeping over sucha great oppurtunity for almost 20yrs, instead of using this know-how and taking the country's knowledge and list of achievments to new heights. who knows howmany more individuals have the talent and ambition to raise the standard of India that other countries have no idea of.But the Govt. has only 1 thing to say "Shoe Me The MONEY". How Pathetic!!! WAKE UP INDIA, WAKE UP.

  • Lawrence M, Mangalore? Bangalore

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    Dear Mr Prasad, Firstly let me congratulate you for the innovative idea. I just want to tell , that you should approach Bharath Lal Meena the BBMP Commisioner of Bangalore who has been bringing great changes to Bangalore. Sure, i have all the confidence that he would support you in this project. People will be surprised to see beautiful paintings on public walls, better drains , street lights and footpaths.All this has happened with a short time after Bharath Lal Meena became the Commissioner.We just appreciate this commissioner for he has a dream to change Bangalore. Mr Prasad. May God give you strenghth for all your hard work and a dream come true in India, Karnataka and Mangalore. Wishing you the best from my side...


    Tue, Sep 29 2009


  • Anil, Halealve

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    Such dedicated are rare .Congrats Sir. I believe the Vamanjur Dumping yard is a very convinient place to set up a power plant.I remember Late Blasius Dsouza ,once said to us that if we engineers build something to recycle the waste , he would give the entire dumping yard to us for free. MOreover Sir, DO NOT SET UP ANY VENTURE WITH GOVT HELP.THEY HAVE SO MANY FORMALITIES THAT BY THE TIME THE PLANT IS SET UP,IT WILL BE IN THEIR POCKETS.

  • Jerome, Mangalore

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    As a first step,government should encourage generation of electricity from kitchen waste and cow dung in rural area for which suitable generators shall be designed by government engineering companies and supplied to the farmers with subsidised price.By this the rural power problem will solve to an extent.

  • Ronald D, Udupi

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    Garbage can generate very little money to the politicians and the Chelas compared to other type of power plant procurements.

  • Astra, Mumbai

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    We need recognition of such marvellous work at national level. When the whole world is going green, why should India leave itself behind. After all, a stictch in time saves nine.

  • Judith, Mumbai

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    Very good and novel idea by Mr. Siva Prasad. With so much of power failure in Karnataka. This is the best opportunity and should be put to use immediately. If the Govt. is not for it. The public an start a petition for their own good.

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    Thank you Florine for this lovely article and Mr. Siva Prasad for your very innovative idea. I wish you good health and more energetic years to follow. Its time we humans start cleaning after us and recycling the garbage for a useful cause is one way to repay the Mother Nature.

  • Lionel dsilva, Mangalore/Kuwait

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    Mr.Siva Prasad wonderful suggession but our politicians doesnt want country to develop they look for the project which makes them rich we have to pray for this leaders.Mangalore in need of a power source

  • Antony Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney Australia

    Tue, Sep 29 2009

    What an unique and inspiring entrepreneurial project, presented to us by Floride Roche through the Daijiworld Media Network, on the subject of generating green power from the Garbage!. All kudos and compliments to you Sir, Mr. Siva Prasad, for your innovation, ingenuity and initiation of this Project, which you have successfully proved and implemented in Malaysia, even at your evening stage of life!. A country like India, will have lot of potential and benefits emanating from a novel project like this, which is environmental- friendly as well, and I am sure, the Karnataka State, and the Government of India as well, will embrace and take up this unique project, irrespective of the royalties and costs involved. As Mr. Siva Prasad has rightly pointed out, the massive green power generated from the garbage which is readily available in plenty in India, will hugely benefit the country to tide over the energy crisis, and the Government should grab this opportunity straightaway.

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