According to reports, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has sanctioned central financial assistance of Rs. 4.4 crores for the distribution of 20,000 solar lanterns to the people in the flood affected areas of Uttarakhand.
The Ministry will be meeting the full cost of solar lanterns to be distributed said a official release.
Each lantern costs approximately Rs. 2200. This project will be implemented by the Uttarakhand Renewable Energy Development Agency, Dehradun.
Immediately after the calamity that struck the Himalayan state on June 15, Union Minister for New & Renewable Energy, Dr. Farooq Abdullah instructed his Ministry to enquire from the Government of Uttarakhand about the ways in which the Ministry could help the affected people.
The Ministry, in turn, upon receiving a request from the Government of Uttarakhand for providing Solar Lanterns issued its in principle, approval for the same, immediately.
These solar lanterns would provide lights in the far-flung and badly affected areas which have been totally cut-off from the grid and where the extension/repair of grid lines would take several months. These would help the villagers to not only complete their normal works after dusk but also keep off wild animals from their habitat.
The Ministry has been meeting 100 per cent funding for distribution of solar lanterns to the natural calamity/ disaster affected people in different parts of the country.
The Ministry had earlier provided for the full cost for 14000 solar lanterns for Aila affected people in West Bengal during 2009-10; 1000 solar lanterns in Leh during 2010-11 to people of flash flood affected areas and 14,900 solar lanterns in Sikkim during 2011-12 to the earth quake affected people.