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RAWALPINDI, June 7: The city district administration is trying to utlilise the methane gas emitting from the landfill site at Losar for the generation of electricity.

Local government officials said they would install a 150 KV generator at the site on Saturday to check whether it can be run on the gas. If the test remains successful, the electricity will be provided to the residents of the Losar village.

“It will be a test case for the provincial government to generate electricity from the solid waste. Methane is used in many countries for electricity generation,” environment experts told Dawn.

They said though the gas was harmful for ozone layer, it can be used for electricity generation. “There is a need to seek petroleum and natural gas experts to handle the case,” they added.

The landfill site at Losar spreads over 75 acres. It has been emitting methane gas for the last one year. The city government workers are already using the gas for burning their stoves since March.

At present, about 1,700 metric tons of garbage is generated daily in Rawalpindi city and the city government has the capacity to lift 1,200 metric tons and dump it at Losar. The remaining 500 tons is dumped into the Nullah Leh.

Last year, the then District Coordination Officer (DCO) Saqib Zafar had informed the provincial government about the emitting methane. In response, the Punjab government deputed the officials of its urban unit to conduct a survey.

The survey report suggested that there was continuous emission of methane which was dangerous for environment and it should be converted into energy.

However, the provincial government failed to launch the project as it was busy in the election campaigns. “Time has come for the government to convert the gas into energy,” said the city government officials.

The former DCO told Dawn that since 2011 the government had been working on formulating a policy for the production of energy from solid waste.

District Coordination Officer Rashid Mehmood Langrial could not be contacted for his comment.

Dr Mazhar Azeem, the district officer solid waste management, said they would conduct a test to run the generator on the emitting gas.

He said the city government with the help of Wasa was drilling a well at the site. “Initially, a 16-foot-deep well will be dug to install the generator.” He said a compressor would help run the generator on gas to produce electricity. “If the test remains successful, the electricity will be provided to the nearby locality as a pilot project,” he said. — Aamir Yasin