The solar mini-grid project completed in July in Ghatpendhari in the buffer zone of Pench Tiger Reserve will be inaugurated by chief wildlife warden Shree Bhagwan on Tuesday.The project was initiated by Satpuda Foundation, a wildlife conservation NGO in Central India with financial assistance from Conservation Action Trust (CAT) and technical help from Bangalore-based SELCO Solar Light Private Limited.
Bhagwan will commission the project in the presence of CAT executive director Debi Goenka, state wildlife board member Kishor Rithe, Pench field director MS Reddy and SELCO officials.
Ghatpendhri, 110km from Nagpur, had to go 40-50km to recharge their mobiles when power went off and had to live a scary life in the darkness due to presence of wild animals. Today, the village is running on a mini solar grid and people are happy.Ghatpendhri in Ramtek tehsil is surrounded by thick forests.
It is the first village in the buffer zone of any tiger reserve in the country to get a renewable energy project known as Kiran Prabha Solar Mini Grid, generating 2.4kV power.Currently, the village gets power from Madhya Pradesh. All the villagers are tribals below poverty line (BPL). During power cuts, they use kerosene lamps, which is not only unhealthy and risky but costly too.