Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma (left) and the ambassador of South Korea to India Chang Jae-Bok during the inauguration of the project | CMO Meghalaya

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma along with the ambassador of South Korea to India Chang Jae-Bok on May 17 inaugurated the pilot project for a refuse derived fuel plant in Tura, the district headquarter of West Garo Hills in Meghalaya.

A first of its kind project in the entire country is being set up by a Korean company in India, the plant situated at the landfill site at Rongkhon Songital is a collaboration of the Meghalaya government, Tura Municipal Board and Chamhana GW of South Korea.

The current project in Tura has been envisioned as a working model demonstration (Proof of Concept), to manage the daily incoming municipal garbage of Tura town and its adjoining areas.

Inaugurating the refuse derived fuel plant, the chief minister Conrad Sangma said that the entire concept of turning waste into energy will completely redefine people’s perception of waste and garbage disposal.

“When I visited this site (landfill) I really wanted to do something and I didn’t know what and how but I knew that we needed to reverse this entire process of dumping the garbage here to make this place green again and more importantly finding a way… a technology that could enable us to ensure that the future waste that we generate could be put to a lot of things,” the chief minister said.

Talking at length about the project, the CM informed the media that the project was conceptualised way back in 2019 but due to the pandemic it had to be put on hold.

The currently installed waste to energy plant will work by converting all waste except recyclables like metals, glass wood and e-waste and construction waste among others into fuel briquettes. The fuel briquettes can then be used as a replacement for coal and charcoal.

Conrad Sangma was optimistic that if the pilot project is successful the government will expand and install similar waste conversion plants in other parts of the state.

Terming the project as a win-win for all, the ambassador of South Korea to India, Chang Jae-Bok, who is on his maiden visit to Meghalaya, said that the pilot project of the refuse derived fuel plant is the start of many meaningful and mutually beneficial collaborations that Korea and India could have in the field of technology that has the potential to greatly enhance the quality of people’s lives.

“Our (Republic of Korea) Embassy in New Delhi will make our effort to further develop this kind of mutually beneficial projects and cooperation in the future,” he said.

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