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Kochi going slow on solar city project

According to reports, Kochi Corporation is in the process of installing energy efficient street lights on selected stretches of roads. To begin with, LED lights will be installed on MG Road and Marine Drive. The corporation had invited tenders for the same and the process of selection is expected to be completed soon.

Mayor Tony Chammany told The Hindu that the corporation is adopting a policy in favour of energy savings. More measures aimed at energy conservation will be taken in due course of time.

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy had floated a scheme for setting up solar cities in the country last year. Kochi was among the cities which could be considered for the scheme, but several pre-conditions would have to be met for release of funds by the Union government. The measures include constitution of a separate solar city cell and monitoring arrangement. Awareness campaigns are to be conducted on various methodologies to be followed for saving energy. Even while the corporation hopes to make use of the scheme, there has been considerable delay in taking concrete measures for including the city in the scheme.

Several cities such as Indore, Moradabad, Kohima and Aizwal have been included in the initial phase of the programme, according to sources in the renewable energy sector. The corporation would require a more coordinated and focused approach to get enrolled in the programme, sources said.

The MNRE programme aims to promote the use of renewable energy in urban areas by supporting municipal corporations for preparation and implementation of a road map to develop their cities as Solar Cities.

Under the scheme, the urban local bodies are required to provide a framework and support to prepare a master plan, including assessment of the current energy situation, future demand and action plans to build capacity.

It also envisages involvement of various stakeholders in the planning process to oversee the implementation of sustainable energy options through public-private partnerships.

A State can have a maximum of five solar cities supported by the Ministry. Ten cities are to be developed as pilot solar cities. Four cities will be developed as model solar cities.

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