Union Minister of Science & Technology & Earth Sciences Dr Harsh Vardhan says that for inclusive development of the country, sustainable industrial activities using local resources in the rural areas are extremely important. Addressing news persons he said Department of Science & Technology has been paying adequate attention for benefitting the rural population through the application of Science and Technology. The Minister pointed out that one such initiative of the Department has culminated into establishment of a Rural-Industry Complex in a plot of wasteland at Malunga village in Jodhpur district of Rajasthan. Integration of technology in this industry complex has been done in such a manner that it satisfies the local needs by utilization of local resources. It offers sustainable and inclusive development by converting waste to wealth. Technology deployment is environment friendly and fulfills the objectives of Swachch Bharat, Swastha Bharat and Samarth Bharat.
Dr Harsh Vardhan said the industry complex offers the local farmers services of extraction of oil from castor seeds. Caster seeds are currently being taken to far off places like Ahmedabad for extraction of oil. This facility can crush 30 tonnes of castor seeds per day. The farmers can save money and botheration for transporting the castor seeds to distant locations. The facility uses the oil cakes, which is a waste product, as a fuel for boilers. The controlled burning of the bio-mass (oil cakes) reduces the carbon emission. Farmers also get paid for the oil cake. The steam generated by the boilers is used for vapour absorption machine (VAM) based cooling system for cooling of four cold rooms. Each cold room with the capacity of 10 tonnes per day will be used by the farmers for cold storage of their produce and ripening of fruits. The trials for Banana ripening have been successfully carried out. Steam is also being used for industrial level multi effect distillation system for production of distilled water (2000 litres per hour). The distilled water can be used for industrial purposes such as battery water and with mineral additives it can be packaged as drinking water. that A bottling plant is also a part of the industry complex. Since Malunga area has brackish water, the facility would provide potable drinking water at affordable cost (Rs.5 per litre) to local rural population. The steam is also used for generation of 150 kilo watt of power for running various machines such as oil mill in the industry complex.
The project has been supported at a cost of Rs. 7 Cr (approx.) by the Department of Science & Technology. A team of Professor and experts from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi have customized and integrated the technology for establishment of the industry complex. School of Desert Science (SDS) Jodhpur through School of Desert Science (SDS) Enterprises have provided the land (10 acres) for the industry complex and also constructed extensive rainwater harvesting structures for ground water recharge. SDS Enterprises will run the facility on a commercial basis and re-deploy all profits to rural development through SDS. With slight customization, the model offers a big opportunity to promote rural entrepreneurship, employment generation and wealth creation for our large rural population with low carbon footprint and utilization of a variety of agricultural residues which otherwise goes for a total waste.