Crank it up
Arnab Pratim Dutta
Sugar mills have doubled up as power generators, with help from sound policies. But profits are falling now. Can states find a way to sustain cogeneration?
Deoband, western Uttar Pradesh. The fourth floor of a building in a sugar factory complex, buzzing with activity. A contraption in the middle of a room humming loudly like an aircraft engine. A man jotting down steam pressure readings from a meter attached to the contraption. Mechanical engineer R Sudhakar had a quick word with the man and moved out into a smaller room, the nerve centre of the unit where computer screens displayed colourful diagrams. He spoke to the operator and proceeded to a narrow bridge connecting the building to a steel structure with slits. Through the slits Sudhakar could see tongues of fire.