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4 years on, sun rises on solar city works

According to reports, over four years after the city was chosen to be turned into a ‘model solar city’, Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is set to kick-off works, beginning with Rs 9.38 crore of total sanctioned plan of Rs 1,453.10 crore.

Having decided to focus on this novel project, municipal commissioner Shyam Wardhane has managed to get approval of the detailed project plan and even received sanction to spend Rs 2.09 crore.

Wardhane told TOI the project will begin with three types of works approved by the ministry for new and renewable energy (MNRE). “The plan is to provide 3,450 solar water heaters with capacity of 125 litres each to citizens. Five solar photo voltaic packs to generate solar energy will also be installed, including two at NMC head office premises and remaining three at zone no. 5, 8 and 9. Solar water heaters with capacity of 400 litres each will be installed at NMC-run Indira Gandhi Rugnalaya, Panchpaoli Nursing Home and Isolation Hospital. These works will be taken up at a cost of Rs 9.38 crore. NMC has already received Rs 18.67 lakh and also got sanction for another Rs 1.90 crore,” he said.

The NMC electrical department has tabled a proposal regarding this before the standing committee, which will take a decision at a meeting on October 24.

City MP Vilas Muttemwar had mooted Nagpur to be developed as a model solar city during his tenure as union minister for new and renewable energy. He had announced the project on the last day in office of UPA-1 in early 2009. However, the project never took off.

The BJP-led ruling alliance at the civic body did not show any interest in the project. Following strictures from the Centre, the NMC was forced to revive the project in August 2012.

Executive engineer (electrical) SB Jaiswal said MNRE approved NMC’s plan of Rs 1,453.10 crore on January 23 this year. “Motive of the project is to bring down the city’s power consumption by 10%. Target of 5% will be met by energy efficiency works and remaining 5% by generation of renewable energy,” he said.

Nagpur is the second city in the country to kick-off the model solar city project after Chandigarh.

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