Government ropes in NAFED to ‘weed out biofuel’ from Dal, Nigeen lakes

Government ropes in NAFED to ‘weed out biofuel’ from Dal, Nigeen lakes
Representational Pic

Srinagar, Sep 4: In a significant development, Jammu and Kashmir government has signed an agreement with National Agricultural Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) for scientific disposal of weed growing in Dal and Nigeen lakes and its subsequent conversion into biofuel for commercial use.

In this regard, J&K Lakes and Waterways Development Authority has entered into the lease agreement with NAFED for 96 kanals.

The order issued in this regard by the Principal Secretary, Housing and Urban Development Department reads: “Sanction is hereby accorded to the grant of approval to the agreement for scientific disposal of harvested weeds from Dal and Nigeen lakes between Jammu and Kashmir, Lakes and Water Development Authority (J&K LDA) and National Agricultural Marketing Federation of India (NAFED). Further Jammu and Kashmir Lakes Development Authority shall enter into the lease agreement for 96 kanals of the identified land with lease (NAFED) for a period of 26 years, for the construction, operation and management of the disposal facility on the scheduled lease rent.”

As per the official document, J&K LAWDA is responsible for providing lakes and civic services which includes the collection, transportation and disposal of weed/lily generated in the lakes. J&K LAWDA currently disposes of the collected weed/lily at the designated dumping/processing sites.

“And whereas Concessionaire (NAFED) among other activities is involved in the business of constructing, installing and operating Waste Treatment Plants for treatment and processing of wastes and are able of implementing for commercial application of bio fuel/ compressed bio gas (CBG) and compost and other techniques thereof as a concessionaire through an SPV for this specific project,” reads a copy of agreement.

It said that NAFED has offered to design, construct and install on the site a plant for treatment of the stipulated quantity of weed/lily on condition that the said treatment plant shall be installed and commissioned by Concessionaire and operated under its guidance for the entire term of the agreement.

“. . . in consequence of such treatment, the said lakes waste shall be treated and processed in the said plant so as to render the same environmentally and hygienically innocuous.

“As there is high level of uncertainty in lake weed germination, removal and supply currently and moreover with new weed removal machinery being introduced thereof and also there are biological reasons to maintaining biological plant and the life balance – thus it has been decided mutually to run the operations for first year as ‘Testing period’ from and Concessionaire shall conclude all finds regarding raw material quality and quantity of supply and thereafter build the processing plant to generate Biofuel/compressed biogas and compost in environment friendly and scientific manner thereof.

“A concessionaire shall prepare a DPR in three months of completion of the testing period after proper examining and evaluating the outcomes of the testing period. And whereas the bio fuel/compressed bio-gas /fuel so produced by the concessionaire shall supply to oil and gas companies/open market as clean fuel.

“And whereas concessionaire (NAFED) is making all financial arrangements towards capital and recurring expenditure in respect of the plant, as such in order to make the said enterprise financially viable from the point of view of concessionaire, it is vitally necessary and the essence of the this contract that JKLWDA makes available to NAFED Lakes waste during the entire term of the agreement,” the agreement reads.

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