Vol. 4 Num 218 Mon. January 05, 2004  

Bio-gas changes lifestyle in rural Gopalganj

Bio-gas has changed the lifestyle of rural people in Gopalganj district.

The rural people are using bio-gas in household work in increasing number. Consumers can also save their hard earned money by using bio-gas.

Fifty bio-gas plants have been set up in different upazilas till now. Cooking fuel and organic fertiliser are produced in these plants.

According to the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) office sources, the bio-gas project started functioning during 2000-2001. Ten bio-gas plants have already been installed in three upazilas.

A project engineer told this correspondent that they had installed four bio-gas plants last year (2001-2002) and six plants this year. Six plants are community bio-gas plants while four are household bio-gas plants.

About 150 to 200 members may utilise the community bio-gas plant. Its cost varies from Tk 95,000 to 1,00,000 while the cost of household bio-gas plants varies from Tk 14,000 to 15,000.

A community bio-gas plant has been installed at Sheikh Ruhul Amin Muslim Mission at Ghosherchar adjacent to Gopalganj town. The production capacity of this plant is above 15 cubic metres of bio-gas.

The Mission also uses the organic fertiliser produced as by-product in the plant. This organic fertiliser is being used as fodder of fish of a fisheries project in the Mission area.

The Bangladesh Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (BCSIR), Gopalganj had set-up 40 bio-gas plants in five upazilas during the last five years.

Md Jahid Hossain, In-Charge of the bio-gas project told this correspondent that villagers had been encouraged to use bio-gas because of simple mechanism in setting up of plants.

About seven or eight cows are required. Their cow-dung are mixed with water in equal ratio and stored in a tank. After about 10 to 12 days bio-gas is produced which is supplied to kitchens through plastic pipes. Five to six families can easily cook their food, light their house, operate the water pump and an incubator with the gas.

A sub-assistant engineer of the project said 65 to 70 per cent of the gas is methane which is a better fuel than firewood. The rest 30 to 35 per cent gas is carbon-dioxide. People use this gas like natural gas which is also good for the environment.

About three cubic metres of gas is produced in one such plant at a cost of Tk 14,000 to 15,000. The government gives Tk 7,500 as subsidy per plant. A plant can run for 30 years.

Hamidul Hoq Dulal, of Khatra in Gopalgonj Sadar thana is a bio-gas user. He told this correspondent during his visit to his plant that bio-gas had changed the lifestyle of his family.