Ray of hope: MP govt to light up Naxal-hit villages with solar energy

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh government has approved an ambitious plan to provide electricity in 44 Naxal-hit villages of the state with the help of solar energy.

Under the plan, 44 Naxal-affected villages of Balaghat, Shahdol, Umaria, Sidhi and Singrauli districts will be electrified by solar energy with an investment of Rs 37.62 crore, official said today. The plan was approved at a meeting chaired by state Energy Minister and New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation Chairman Rajendra Shukla on February 4, they said.

Solar energy
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Providing electricity through conventional methods in remote areas, specially which are affected by Naxal activities, is difficult, therefore the government has planned to electrify them through non-conventional methods. The Centre's Rural Electrification Corporation under Energy Ministry has sanctioned a plan with which the villages which are not electrified or partially electrified can be energised with new and renewable energy sources.

After the approval of the plan, the minister said that the work on the scheme will begin soon. Under the plan, electricity can be generated through methods like biomass, bio-fuel, mini-hydro, solar or bio-gas for energising a village.

The scheme will benefit 4,437 families living in these villages, they said, adding that 762 kilo watt of power will be generated under the plan. Each household will be provided with an 11 or 18 watt CFL and a 60 watt power point will be set up. Besides, for commercial use, a flour mill and a community centre in each village will be electrified.

Under the scheme, solar-powered street lights too will be installed in the villages. The Rural Electrification Corporation will bear 90 per cent cost of the scheme while the state government will meet the remaining 10 per cent, they added.

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