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Aurangabad’s solar city project takes a back seat

According to reports, the Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC)’s ambitious ‘Solar City’ project has taken a back seat, after the union ministry of new and renewable energy did not accept the civic body’s proposal seeking 50% grant for the project. The ministry has given in-principle approval for 30% subsidy.

AMC’s executive engineer Sikander Ali on Tuesday said that the civic body had urged the ministry to give 50% subsidy. “In the last meeting, we urged joint secretary and director in the ministry A K Tripathi to allot special funds considering its financial condition. During the meeting, the ministry officials had assured to forward the proposal to higher authorities. But now, it seems that the ministry will follow the rule of giving only 30% financial help,” he said.

Ali said that the municipal corporation was not prepared to incur heavy expenditure and thus the project had been set aside. The union ministry of new and renewable energy has agreed in-principle to give 30% of the total project cost of Rs 2.5 crore in October 2013.

Senior civic body officials including municipal commissioner Harshdeep Kamble had met the senior ministry officials and convinced them that the city would be an ideal spot for solar energy projects. “The ministry is likely to declare Aurangabad as a ‘model solar city’ and increase the funding,” Ali said.

In the solar city project, the civic body will promote all types of renewable energy options including solar, wind, biomass, small hydro, etc. Besides, energy efficiency measures will also be promoted to bring down the energy consumption level.

Under the ‘Model Solar City’ project, the ministry will also provide funding to set up equipment for renewable energy sources. In its detail project report, the municipal body had proposed to install solar panels on rooftop of the three administrative buildings in the city.

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