The government is looking at promoting solar powered charkhas as well as rickshaws in the country and has invited views from stakeholders on design and costing of the products. “Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) is considering to promote ‘Solar Powered Charkhas’ and ‘Solar Rickshaw’ under off grid and decentralised solar programme. Suggestions are invited from the stakeholders on…technical specifications,” a MNRE official said. The official further said that manufacturers and developers of solar powered charkhas and solar rickshaw have been requested to send their comments on the technical specifications with design by November 22.
“Manufacturers of solar charkhas, who have developed the product/interested in developing an improved product may please send their comments,” the official said. It is possible, he said, to eliminate the hardship/ drudgery involved in the manual operation of charkha and increase the wage earning capacity. Since charkhas are being mainly operated in rural areas which don’t have assured electric supply, the use of solar energy could be thought of. The use of solar energy can usher in a new era of spinning, the official added. Since the charkha is a small machine, it is feasible to operate the charkha using solar energy.
A commercially viable solar system for the operation of 8-10 spindles charkha has been developed by many institutions. The technology is now well proven. To revive the large numbers of charkhas going out of operation in villages, solar energy could be easily harnessed. Solar charkha kit attachment has been developed to operate the existing 8-10 spindle charkhas which are normally used for manual operation in practice. A motorised mechanism ensures an even power supply, which in turn ensures a better quality of yarn. The government has ambitious plans for deployment of 175 GW renewable power capacities by 2022, including 100 GW of solar and 60 GW of wind.