NAGPUR: Setting a precedent for other government and semi-government institutions to follow, a solar power plant of 200kW was commission at the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Monday.
The plant was commissioned by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in the presence of chief justice (CJ) Naresh Patil, administrative judge Ravi Deshpande, guardian minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule, High Court Bar Association (HCBA) president Anil Kilor and secretary Prafull Khubalkar.
A galaxy of past and present judges, senior lawyers and law students attended the event organized at the main portion of HC building which was illuminated with new lighting system powered by the solar plant.
The initiative will save power expenditure worth at least Rs40 lakh every year and also reduce pollution to a great extent. TOI had on July 17 first reported about Kilor’s ambitious plans to shift to green energy by installing solar panels on the roof of the historic edifice.
Lauding HCBA’s initiative, Fadnavis announced that the entire HC building and bungalows of the judges will be shifted to solar energy in a couple of months.
“About a decade back, any talk of green energy was considered to be elitist as there was hardly any concern for environment. However, we are experiencing vagaries of nature for the last many years due to climatic changes and global warming. As a result, Maharashtra is facing drought for the last four years in a row due to erratic rainfall,” the chief minister said.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had signed the Paris Accord where he set an ambitious target to bring down emissions to the levels of year 2005 by 2030 in India.
“Developed nations are the biggest pollutants but, ironically, they ask smaller countries to follow strict emission norms. But our PM rose to the occasion by taking up a big challenge for mitigating carbon footprints where each one of us has to contribute,” Fadnavis added.
Appreciating the initiative by Kilor and his team, CJ Patil said that they exhibited a sense of responsibility when known sources of energy were slowly getting affected.
“This is the first project to be executed by active participation from the state and the judiciary. With the help of District Mineral Council, justices Bhushan Gavai and Bhushan Dharmadhikari had shown interest and laid its foundation stone,” Patil added.
Heaping praise on HCBA team, justice Deshpande said it had given a facelift to the HC building under the guidance of Kilor. “Though the deadline for project completion was six months, the team completed it in just 40 days, which is commendable.”
Bawankule said the CM had cleared Rs 2 crore for bringing judges’ bungalows and remaining part of the HC building under solar energy for which they would set up 100kW plant in two months.
“We’ve converted over six lakh farmers and one lakh agriculture pumps on solar energy. Even the district and sessions court here would soon be turned into solar energy,” he said.