Solar lamps installation in all houses to be completed by Saturday
People in the naxalite-affected Amasebail Gram Panchayat (GP) do not worry about frequent power cuts now as they can always fall back on solar lamps installed in their houses.
Amasebail Gram Panchayat is all set to become the first “solar gram panchayat” in Udupi district, thanks to the efforts of the district administration, the gram panchayat, the Amasebail Charitable Trust, Karnataka Bank and the Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project.
Amasebail Gram Panchayat comprises three villages — Amasebail, Rattady and Machattu and has 1,872 houses.
While some houses have been provided two solar lamps each, the others have four solar lamps.
The cost for installing two solar lamps was Rs. 9,900, while it was Rs. 16,000 for four lamps. The beneficiaries had to pay Rs. 3,000 for two lamps, while it cost Rs. 6,000 for four solar lamps.
In the case of Koraga community beneficiaries, the gram panchayat bore the amount of Rs. 3,000 per beneficiary; while in the case of other Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes beneficiaries, it had spent Rs. 2,000 per beneficiary for installation of lamps.
The total cost of installing solar lamps in these 1,497 houses was Rs. 2.13 crore (the remaining 375 houses had had solar lamps under the previous schemes).
While Rs. 62 lakh was provided by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Rs. 42 lakh came from Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL), and Rs. 25 lakh from the district administration. The beneficiaries contributed Rs. 76 lakh. The trust coordinated the activities of all the organisations and chipped in with funds where necessary.
SELCO India Pvt. Ltd., selected through e-tender, was entrusted with the work of installing the solar lamps. As per tender conditions, the company had given full guarantee of five years for the solar lamps, even as it undertakes half-yearly maintenance and replaces faulty lamps in a day.
While the installation of solar lamps in 1,497 houses was taken up on May 5, the first and second phase works were completed on July 7 and September 20, respectively. The final phase work would be completed on December 10.
The people are all praise for the solar lamps. Babu, a construction worker from Koraga community, said that he was now no longer bothered about power cuts as he had solar lamps.
Revathi, a class seven student, said: “After installation of solar lamps, I am studying for longer hours.” Sudarshan Shet, a shopkeeper, said that he was saving Rs. 150 a month on electricity bills after the installation of the solar lamps. “I am thinking of installing it in my shop also,” he said.