According to reports, more than nine months since inviting Expressions of Interest (EoI) from empanelled agencies to draw up the master plan, the ambitious Solar City project for the capital, already delayed by three years, continues to await redemption. Among the 48 cities in India selected for the project was Thiruvananthapuram, chosen by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), with the other entrant from the state being Kochi.
The City Corporation says it had chosen a Hyderabad-based firm to prepare the Rs 10-lakh master plan, from the Rs 50-lakh financial assistance of the MNRE. “After selection, they have not respond to our call to sign an agreement. For one more month shall we wait and then go in for inviting fresh EoIs again,” said Corporation works standing committee chairman V S Padmakumar.
Whereas, Kochi recently entrusted the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) with the task of preparing the Detailed Project Report (DPR). If not carried out in time, the capital city would lose its first in implementing the project.
In a bid to make the city energy-sufficient, the Solar City project aims to make the streetlights solar-powered and in setting up green buildings and grid-connected rooftop solar projects. Tapping solar power, the project aims to bring down the use of conventional energy sources by ten per cent in five years. ANERT is the nodal agency for the project in the state.
In October 2012, the Corporation council had approved the formation of a stakeholder committee for the project comprising Corporation officials – health officer and executive engineers and representatives of ANERT, Kerala State Electricity Board and Pollution Control Board.
Lessening the dependence on conventional energy sources, the project could also bring down the power bills considerably, if implemented.