Solution for pollution
Turning agricultural waste into construction boards instead of burning it is the answer to escalating pollution levels, which benefits everybody, says H H Swami Chidanand Saraswatiji
This year, Deepavali turned bleak and smoggy for Delhi with the sky turning dark with poisonous haze. The effects of firecrackers and burning agricultural waste from the recent harvest have turned the nation’s capital into a gas chamber. Flights are delayed and even cancelled, schools are closed due to the deadly air.
Air filters in homes, offices, and cars is the new norm for the affluent few. The masses who cannot afford them suffer in silence. Both groups have conceded, helplessly, to living and raising their children in a cloud of toxicity.
Often, when people from Delhi visit Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh, they exclaim how lucky we are to have clean air. But we have forgotten that clean, breathable air is not a luxury. It’s a basic human right, which we are violating by cutting trees that give us shade and clean air, in order to build factories, shopping malls, and new condo complexes.
We can overcome
Fortunately, this dark cloud does not have to hang precariously over our lives forever. Feasible solutions are available, and the time has come to implement them.
One excellent win-win solution is Agriboard Technology, which benefits all—farms, farmers, and families. The same agricultural waste that currently gets burnt by farmers, turning the air into toxic gas, can become a boon instead of a bane. In Agriboard Technology, agricultural waste is utilised for its agriculture fibres and natural binders to make highly compressed anaerobic boards, fixed in a steel frame to create a strong structure. The waste straw is cleaned and then compressed beneath thousands of pounds of weight. The board is then heated at a very high temperature, giving it durability and strength.
After intense research and development, this board is not only found to be strong and durable but also economically and environmentally friendly. It can be used to build buildings. The agricultural waste, instead of being burnt by farmers, will be purchased from them to make Agriboard, helping them financially, and will keep the Delhi air more breathable.
Agriboard is a low-cost biodegradable and completely recyclable product that is fire-proof, earthquake-proof, termite-proof, and water-proof.
Agriboard can be used successfully to construct public toilets and multistorey buildings and hospitals. At a cost of only Rs.1,000 per sq. ft., these structures can also be the building foundation of homes for economically-challenged people.
Agriboard is just one of the many immediately implementable solutions that can help our beautiful, sacred country develop economically while also ensuring that the rights of the people to a healthy life are upheld.
Swami Chidanand Saraswati is the president and spiritual head of the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, a spiritual institution based in Rishikesh.
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