According to reports, After sitting on model solar city project for five years, BJP-ruled Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has realized the project’s importance and planned an energy efficiency campaign involving citizens. It will be followed by other activities towards same end. The civic body vowed to first correct its own systems consuming huge quantum of power and then appeal the citizens to contribute in the project crucial for environment conservation.
Announcing the campaign on Tuesday, Mayor Anil Sole said target was to cut power consumption in city wherever possible. “NMC has already kicked-off works to bring down power consumption. Streetlights consume a lot of power. Work to convert 1,850 of total 1,883 streetlight feeders to automatic systems has been completed. The remaining feeders will be converted in a few days. All will be linked with a centralized system and can be operated and monitored easily even with a laptop. Streetlights will switch on and off at pre-set time. Besides, process to replace existing high consumption streetlights with LED-based has also started. Target is to cover 26,000 streetlights in the first phase,” he said.
The mayor added that civic body had already done much to save power at water pumping systems. “Power consumption at administrative offices, schools and other establishments is also required to be cut. I held meeting with heads of all departments, zone chairpersons and corporators who promised to work towards this goal. All were requested to minimize power use and also to replace old devices with new energy efficient ones,” he said.
Sole said beyond NMC own work, civic body may also require switching off of illumination on hoardings and other signboards by 10-11 pm. “Citizens contribution in the campaign is a must. I appeal to all citizens, government agencies and private bodies to switch off power at homes or establishments for 5-30 minutes on every pournima day starting from January 15,” he said.
Giving details about model solar city activities, Sole said 3,500 solar water heaters will be distributed among the interested citizens in which the beneficiary will bear 50% of cost while the remaining will come from the centre. “Solar water heaters and other gadgets will also be installed at NMC’s hospitals and administrative offices. Corporators will also avail these benefits. NMC was one of the 11 cities in the country to follow the World Earth Day concept. We will also hold the event on World Earth Day probably on last Saturday of March,” he said.
City MP Vilas Muttemwar had mooted developing Nagpur as model solar city during his tenure as Union minister of state for new and renewable energy. He had announced the project on the last day in office of UPA-1. But the NMC, which had BJP as ruling party, did not show any interest in the project. Following strictures from the Centre, the civic body is now forced to revive the project.
The Centre sanctioned NMC’s detailed project report of Rs 1,453.10 crore on January 23 this year. Motive behind 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. Already, NMC has received Rs 18.67 lakh and also got sanction for another Rs 1.90 crore to kick-off pilot project.