Pramod Madhwaraj, Minister of State for Fisheries, Youth Affairs and Sports, on Thursday declared the Naxalite-affected Amasebail Gram Panchayat (GP) as the first fully solar GP in Udupi district. The Amasebail GP has three villages — Amasebail, Rattady and Machattu — with 1,872 houses. While 1,000 houses have been provided with four solar lamps, 497 houses have been provided with two. The remaining houses already had solar lamps thanks to previous schemes. As many as 20 solar street lamps too have been installed in the GP. The total cost of installing solar lamps in these 1,497 houses was ₹2.13 crore, and the beneficiaries contributed ₹77.13 lakh.
The installation of solar lamps in the 1,497 houses, taken up in May 2016, was completed in three phases owing to the efforts of the district administration, gram panchayat, Amasebail Charitable Trust, Karnataka Bank, and Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project. SELCO Solar Light Pvt. Ltd., selected through e-tender, was entrusted with the installation. Mr. Madhwaraj said the State government was giving importance to renewable energy sources, especially solar and wind. The power generated from renewable energy sources has increased in the past four years. “Amasebail GP is a model not only for the State but also for the country,” he said.
Delivering the keynote address, H. Harish Hande, Magsaysay award winner and president of Selco India, said nearly 30 crore people still live without electricity in the country. The regional rural banks, commercial banks and Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala Rural Development Project have supported the solar initiative in the State.
‘A model State’
He said Karnataka was a model for the entire country to follow, especially in promoting renewable energy. But the State has not marketed its success in the field, he said. States such as Chhattisgarh and Odisha, apart from the north-eastern ones, could follow the Karnataka model, he said. “While Mahatma Gandhi brought independence to the country, it is now the responsibility of the youth to bring in ‘energy independence’ to the country by 2020,” he said. A.G. Kodgi, president of Amasebail Charitable Trust, welcomed the gathering. Halady Srinivas Shetty, Kundapur MLA, Pratapchandra Shetty, MLC, B. Appanna Hegde, former MLA, Jayalaxmi Shedti, president of Amasebail Gram Panchayat, Ananthakrishna, former chairman of Karnataka Bank, and L.H. Manjunath, executive director of SKDRDP, were among those present.