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Rs 73.2 billion solar city master plan gets Surat Municipal Corporation nod

According to reports, the standing committee of Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) on Friday passed the Rs 7,320 crore Surat solar city master plan. This is the first concrete step towards making Surat country’s first solar city. Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) had in 2011 given its in principle nod for the development of Surat as solar city.

The proposal envisages raising Rs 1,952 crore through subsidies for which the SMC will be making presentations before Central and state government departments on energy conservation and for the installation of non-conventional sources of energy production. It will also take up the issue of making necessary amendments in the building bye-laws to increase the usage of solar water heating systems.

The city plans to reduce use of electricity by 10 per cent by 2015-16 from its present consumption of 1699.17 million units. This would also bring down green house emissions, which was 40 per cent of the total emission from the city. The lignite-based industry and LPG-based automobiles contribute 50 per cent of the total emission. SMC at present meets 30 per cent of its total energy requirement from green sources. The production of energy through different non-conventional sources could reach 80 per cent by 2015-16, sources said.

“Industries should produce green energy. This would help sustain the city’s solar drive” said Jatin Shah, city engineer.

“Green energy is a good concept. However, the question is will the small unit owners be able to afford this?” said South Gujarat Textiles Processors Association president Jitu Vakharia.

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