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Model solar city plan for Nagpur in final stage

According to reports, after a few fits and starts, the city is all set to become a model solar city. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has finalized the master plan and submitted it to the Central government. After Chandigarh, Nagpur will be only the second city in the country to achieve the distinction.

Following a call from the Union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE), municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane gave a presentation of the plan in New Delhi on Wednesday. Wardhane told TOI that the MNRE has suggested a few changes which needs to be incorporated and the plan resubmitted.

“MNRE wanted to incorporate mandatory norms for rooftop solar system in the development control rule of the city. It has to be incorporated for housing societies. Besides, the MNRE asked me to include the NMC’s plan for generating power from municipal waste, renewable energy-based chilling points in the hospitals etc,” he said.

AICC general secretary and city MP Vilas Muttemwar had mooted Nagpur to be developed as a model solar city during his tenure as the union minister for new and renewable energy. He had announced the project on the last day in office of UPA-1 in early 2009. But the NMC, which had the BJP-Shiv Sena as ruling party, did not show any interest in the project. Now, following strictures from the Centre, the NMC was forced to revive the project.

The estimated cost of the pilot project is Rs19 crore which will be equally shared by the Centre and the NMC. NMC had made provisions of Rs9.50 crore in the 2012-13 budget presented by Sanjeev Jaiswal who was Wardhane’s predecessor. The chairman of standing committee, Dayashankar Tiwari too had made provided funds for the project in his budget.

According to the master plan, the estimated cost of the full project is around Rs1,000 crore. Its main objective is to convert 5% of total non-renewable energy consumption to renewable. Saving 10% of the city’s non-renewable energy consumption will be the ultimate goal of the model solar city. NMC will receive grant from the Centre to execute the project once the master plan is approved.

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