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Solar City Project of Ministry of Renewable Energy Faces Dark Future

According to reports, the Solar City project under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has hit a road block for want of funds and land.

Bhubaneswar was one of 60 cities identified by MNRE for Solar City project. Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC), the nodal agency for implementation of the project, stated that lack of funds and financial assistance from the State Government has delayed the project.

Drafted by OREDA in collaboration with Science and Technology Department, the project was aimed at bringing down energy consumption in urban areas by 10 per cent.

Initially, a stretch of 1.2 km road from Siripur to Fire Station Square was identified by BMC for setting up solar street lights under the project. The Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) quoted Rs 1.20 crore for the purpose which was not affordable for BMC.

“Even though MNRE is providing 25 per cent subsidy, spending the rest ` 90 lakh from BMC’s funds and that too for such a small stretch of road is not feasible,” said BMC Chief Engineer TBK Shroff.

He further said BMC has spent Rs 22 lakh for the street lights in that stretch of road which is a much lesser investment. Besides, about 500 square metres of land required to lay solar panels is also difficult to find in the area, said Shroff.

Sources said considering the current financial condition of the Corporation, they cannot invest a huge amount on such a small project.

Meanwhile, BMC has decided to rope in an independent energy auditor for its energy saving street light project proposed recently.

A tender for the same will be floated soon.

Under the project, the company has to bring down power consumption as per the contract using various techniques like dimmer, timer and modern transformers.

The auditor will be responsible for the entire project and check if the company is abiding by the specifications provided by BMC.

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