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Five remote tribal villages in Manipur, India get Solar Home and Street Lighting under Remote Village Electrification(RVE) program

The Remote Village Electrification (RVE) program under the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) was a program introduced in the year 2009-10. The objective of the Programme is electrification through renewable energy sources of those unelectrified remote census villages and remote unelectrified hamlets of electrified census villages where grid connectivity is either not feasible or not cost effective.

In accordance with the approved definition of village electrification, remote villages/hamlets will be deemed to be electrified if a minimum of 10% of the households are provided with electricity and electricity is also made available for community facilities and for dalit bastis (habitations) of the village, if any.

Projects should intend to cover all the households in the village/hamlets, including those in the dalit bastis of the village, and creation of capability for availability of electricity as laid down in the National Electricity Policy, 2005, i.e., a minimum of 1 kWh/household/day. However, if the state governments conclude after due consideration that the norm of 1 kWh/household/day is not achievable in a cost effective manner through various Renewable energy technologies, due to inadequate availability of the resources, then as a last resort they may decide to provide at least the basic lighting facilities through solar photovoltaic homelighting systems for each of the willing households in the village.

According to this report, MNRE had proposed a plan outlay of Rs 2,500 crore for its rural energy schemes for the current Plan period including Rs 650 crore for RVE, Rs 900 crore for non-electrical RE systems and Rs 250 crore for biogas scheme. However, Rs 1,000 crore outlay was approved. The ministry has managed to electrify only 2,300 villages out of the targeted 5,000 since March 2007, with an expenditure of Rs 272 crore — 90 per cent of the budget estimate of Rs 303 crore.

The MANIREDA ( Manipur Renewable Energy Development Agency) under the RVE, has distributed altogether 459 solar home lighting sets and 85 solar street lighting sets to  five villages. 72 solar home lighting sets and 13 solar street lighting sets for Ziumi, 106 solar home lighting sets and 20 solar street lighting sets each for Bakei, Tamphung, Khangjang and Chakha Village.

Additionally, the project will project will provide the five villages with additional public lighting systems for common places/street by installing 85 solar streets lighting of automatic operation to the five villages.

The off-grid projects which are often not discussed about or covered in detail in the media, but on which the Solar Mission (JNNSM) has placed a lot of importance has been discussed by Panchabuta here, here, here and here.

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