ROURKELA: With rural power supply remaining highly erratic and stress on generation of conventional energy increasing, Sundargarh district administration will cover villages with solar street lighting system in a phased manner.
District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) has recently floated tender inviting manufacturers/authorised dealers to bid for installations and commissioning of 500 units of LED-based integrated solar street lighting systems at an estimated cost of `1.22 crore with condition of five years’ warranty.
Sundargarh Collector Bhupendra Singh Poonia said the project is funded from the periphery development contribution of the NTPC for 2016-17 and would cover 11 villages/hamlets under Darlipali and Raidihi gram panchayats (GPs) of Lefripara block. Rural pockets are usually facing long hours of power-cuts and to get rid of the recurring costs against electricity bills and maintenance, the administration convinced the people about the benefits of solar street lighting systems at Gram Sabhas, he added.
The Collector said each street light unit would be mounted on metal pole with integrated and reliable battery, sensor and LED light fittings with guaranteed life span.
The effort would reduce pressure on thermal and hydro power generations to save the environment and natural resources. The administration also plans to extend solar energy facilities to more remote villages while above 500 solar-powered drinking water pump sets are working successfully, he informed.
Project Director of DRDA SK Meena said the administration is working to cover remote villages by solar systems with funding from the Central Finance Commission and State Finance Commission in a phased manner. Meena informed that 39 model GPs, including 25 directly affected by mining operations, have been earmarked to be equipped with solar system with funding from the District Mineral Foundation (DMF).
Solar street lighting systems have been successfully installed at a couple of villages in Kuanrmunda block and rest 221 GPs of the district would be convinced for it, he added.
Meanwhile, Forest Department has installed a few solar street lighting systems for safety of villagers at some highly vulnerable pockets frequented by wild elephants. The NTPC has also distributed about 100 solar lanterns to rural students and is in the process of supplying 244 to its project affected families.