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Pune fails to make it to Centre’s solar city list

According to reports, Pune has failed to make it to the Centre’s list of solar cities that would helped it cut the use of conventional sources of energy by 10 per cent in five years. In June 2012, the civic body, after approval of its general body, had applied to be part of the Centre’s move to develop solar cities across the country.

If selected, the civic body would have got Rs 50 lakh to prepare a master plan, set up solar city cell and build capacities to promote use of solar energy. In addition, the financial and fiscal incentives available under various government programmes is applicable on the solar cities for installation of renewable energy projects, systems and devices.

The solar city aims at a minimum 10 per cent reduction in projected demand for conventional energy in five years by enhancing supply from renewable energy sources in the city. The aim is to motivate the local governments to adopt renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures. The union government has sanctioned proposals of 40 cities and funded them to engage consultants for preparation of a master plan.

Three cities of Maharashtra have made it to the list of cities to be developed as solar cities while three more are in consideration. Nagpur, Kalyan-Dombiwali and Thane have been included in the solar city project while Aurangabad, Nanded and Shirdi have got in-principle nod.

“The PMC had sent the proposal through Maharashtra Energy Development Authority (MEDA).There were queries raised by Union government in the proposal, which were addressed and a revised proposal was sent in September. There is no feedback on the proposal,” said Vijay Dahibhate, deputy municipal commissioner.

There was no communication on why the PMC was left out he said adding that the civic body would once again approach the Union government to include Pune in the project. “It is not that the PMC is not taking any steps towards energy conservation. The PMC is installing solar heaters at civic hospitals and hostels. It also gives incentives in property tax to properties that install solar heaters,” Dahibhate said.

Civic activist Vivek Velankar said the PMC has failed to conserve energy by using renewable energy at civic buildings. “There are so many civic properties but the PMC has not been using their roof for use of solar energy. The proposal could have been ignored as nothing has been done by civic body so far in using renewable energy,” he added.

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