NEW DELHI, INDIA: The President's Estate has added a feather to its cap by becoming the first urban habitat in the country to be ISO 14001:2004 Certified. The ISO 14001:2004 certification means that standards set by the International Organization for Standards (ISO) for Environmental Management Systems are now in place in the President's Estate.
The certificate was formally received by Dr. Christy Fernandez, Secretary to the President from the Director, Bureau Veritas Certification India. All residents of the President's Estate have given their whole hearted support and contribution during the past two years in making the township ISO compliant. The Union Minister of Urban Development, Jaipal Reddy and the Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dikshit were also present amongst others.
The Certification was one of the goals of the Roshini Project, inaugurated by the President of India in 2008. The Roshini Project is envisaged as a catalyst for change to build sustainable habitats. At the inauguration, the President had said that the Project would add another dimension to the President's Estate and urged the residents to take part in it to make it a success. The President had stressed during the inauguration that every individual has the responsibility to pass on a better world to the next generation.
The Roshini Project is an initiative that aims at making the President's Estate a green and an environmental friendly habitat in which good practices of conservation and efficient use of resources are encouraged, and which can be an ideal for other townships in the country. All components of the Project strive at not only making the quality of life for the resident's of the President's Estate, more meaningful and better, but also to showcase these to visitors.
The major components of the Roshini Project are:-
1. Waste Management
A. Solid Waste Management - a new Waste Segregation and Recycling Programme - RRR (Recycling, Reuse and Reduce) has been introduced with the active support of the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC).
Residents have been trained in segregating bio-degradable and non-biodegradable waste generated in each house and a system of door to door collection of this waste has been put in place. A Self Help Group (SHG) of women has been trained in composting the biodegradable waste, which on an average is between 300 - 400 kgs. per day. The organic manure generated, is being used in the President's Gardens. So far about 320 quintals of vermi-compost has been prepared by the SHG since October 2009.
B. Rain Water Harvesting - The focus is a concept of zero wastage of water. All waste water will be recycled and the rain water will be harvested in the President's Estate. Rain Water Harvesting in the Rashtrapati Bhavan has been taken up in the past. Till 1991-92 it covered 42 percent of the area of the Estate.
This process has been further augmented in collaboration with the Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) by collecting the run off from the areas which were earlier not covered, by diverting rain water from these new areas into specially constructed recharge structures. As a result, now 100 percent of the areas have been covered.
2. Environment Protection and Pollution Control
A. Increase in green cover, tree census, protection of flora and fauna in the President's Estate - efforts are being made not only to increase green cover but also to protect the ridge area in the President's Estate and to mend and replace dry and dead trees. More than 11,000 trees have been planted in the President's Estate, Rashtrapati Nilayam, Hyderabad and the Presidential Retreat at Shimla.
The survival rate of these plantations is 90 percent. A Tree Census and report was taken up with the help of the Horticulture Wing of NDMC. A report on the Field Study of Peacocks has also been prepared under the aegis of the World Pheasant Association.
B. Nature Trail - a Nature Trail spread over 75 acres has been developed in the President's Estate with the help of the Department of Environment and Forests, Govt. of NCT of Delhi. This trail showcases the bio-diversity of the President's Estate. Since its inception more than 3000 visitors mainly from schools have come to the Trail which has 136 wild and cultivated plant species as well as 84 animal and 32 bird species.
C. Ban on usage of Plastic bags and replacement by more eco-friendly products - Usage of plastic products specifically plastic bags, is discouraged in the President's Estate. However, a total ban could not be imposed in the past for want of suitable alternatives. Now under the Roshini Project, use of more eco-friendly products is being promoted. Under this initiative SHGs of women have been trained in making paper bags, which are being used in shops inside the Estate.
3. Energy Conservation
A. Energy Audit and Conservation - Based on a project report on energy conservation, measures are being taken to conserve energy in the Estate and the President's Secretariat. Usage of energy efficient electrical appliances is also being promoted.
B. Usage and Promotion of new and renewable sources of energy - Solar photovoltaic panels have been installed in the new Auditorium, Health Centre and President's Secretariat Officers' Institute. In addition, 100 solar street lights have been installed in the Estate.
Solar powered water heating devices are being installed in residences. As result in one year more than one lakh Kw per hour of electricity consumption has been reduced, resulting in monetary savings of Rs. 6.50 lakh.
In addition, a 25 CUM Bio-gas plant has been installed in collaboration with the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and the Khadi and Village Industries Corp. (KVIC) for the kitchen of the President's Body Guard (PBG) and the Army Guard Kitchen situated in the President's Estate. These kitchens' were previously using LPG cylinders for cooking purposes. The plant uses about 600 kgs. of cattle dung per day and provides cooking fuel for about 70-80 persons in the PBG Mess.
C. Replacement of LPG by Piped Natural Gas (PNG) - more than 1000 houses in the Estate have been converted to PNG, supplied by Indraprastha Gas Limited (IGL). In addition PNG is also being supplied to the President's main kitchen.
Other activities under ROSHINI
Five Self Help Groups (SHGs), engaged in activities like vermi and organic composting, masala grinding, beauty culture and production of paper bags are also part of the ROSHINI initiative.
"Sopan", a creche is also in operation in the President's Estate for the benefit of the children of the contractual labours and daily wage earners working in the President's Estate.