Koyambedu market complex taps IIT-M study to go 100% solar

Study will also include the methods to reduce water usage. IIT-M will analyse the present water requirement and propose an action plan to reduce and reuse water
Koyambedu market
Koyambedu market

CHENNAI: Considered one of the biggest markets in Asia, Koyambedu Wholesale Market Complex (KWMC) will soon be powered entirely using solar energy as the State Environment, Forest and Climate Change Department, along the IIT-Madras, is studying the methodology to convert the market into a carbon-neutral facility.

Recently, the department conducted a meeting with the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) and Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA), which maintains the market to make the market a 100% plastic-free and carbon neutral.

“IIT Madras is carrying out a study to implement various initiatives. One of them is to power the market with solar energy,” explained Supriya Sahu, secretary, environment and forests.

Sahu added that the amount of electricity used to run the market will be studied apart from the measures to cut down energy consumption and produce solar power. Also, possibilities of generating power from vegetable and fruit wastes will be studied.

The market generates around 200 tonnes of vegetable waste of which majority is banana stems. The plan is to set up a bio-methanation plant to produce biogas from which electricity can be generated. Presently, most of the vegetable waste is being sent away for disposal by the GCC.

Apart from focussing on cutting electricity usage and increasing green energy, the study will also include the methods to reduce water usage. The IIT-Madras will analyse the present water requirement and propose an action plan to reduce and reuse water.

Once the study is completed, the environment department and CMDA will construct a water treatment plant to recycle sewage generated at the market complex. “Another aspect of the study is the measured amount of emission from vehicles visiting the market. Measures will be taken to cut the emission also,” added Sahu.

The market complex has over 3,900 shops selling vegetables, fruits, flowers, grains and perishable goods with thousands of retailers and customers visiting every day. As a part of converting the market as a plastic-free zone, the department, and the GCC, has installed two vending machines to sell cloth bags (manjappai). The department has also bought 20 such vending machines that will be distributed to several markets across TN.

On the other hand, the environment department moots to employ women to produce cloth bags to earn a livelihood.

Study will also include the methods to reduce water usage. IIT-M will analyse the present water requirement and propose an action plan to reduce and reuse water

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