LUDHIANA: As ‘The Times of India’s ‘Let’s Save Sidhwan’ campaign put the focus on the water body in the city, a solar power plant was commissioned in the middle of the canal near Rajgarh village in 2017. The project is already generating power.
“The project became functional on March 27, and has started generating power from day one. The solar plant is already producing more than its expected power power generation capacity of 2.5mw. It has been a successful, one-of-its-kind project in India as far as infrastructure and design are concerned,” said Ramanuj Sinha, deputy general manager of the private firm managing the project. He added that power generated from the project is being sold to Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL), and fed to Daburji sub-station.
Officials managing the project said solar panels were cleaned once or twice a month, depending on the cycle. They added that the project had withstood harsh winds and high water flow in the canal because of its design. The project has 8,421 solar modules on pods spread over 1.25km from Rajgarh to Ajnod village downstream on Sidhwan canal. Those who executed the project say it is the first of its kind in Asia.
Meanwhile, Sidhwan Warriors — who had actively contributed to ‘The Times of India’s campaign — say it has been a dream come true for them. “Though a dream, it came true after Sidhwan Canal became a source of solar power. After TOI’s campaign highlighted issues related to Sidhwan Canal, we had met the then state minister for revenue Bikram Majithia, and had asked him to start a project on the pattern of one on Narmada river, and he had agreed to our demand. We feel happy that it finally became a reality,” said Tanvir Singh Dhaliwal, councillor of Ward No.59, who actively participated in the campaign.
Let’s Clean Ludhiana Foundation (LCLF) that spearheaded ‘The Times of India’s ‘Let’s Save Sidhwan’ campaign also rejoiced in the achievement. Says LCLF chairperson Mridula Jain: “After the focus of the ‘Let’s Save Sidhwan’ campaign — jointly done by us and ‘The Times of India’ — was on the water body, a solar power project was planned on it by the then government. It was a great feeling that the project — a unique one in Asia — started generating power early this year.”