A silent solar energy revolution is brewing under Project Souro Shakti in South Assam’s Hailakandi district.
Altogether 16 villages which did not have access to conventional electricity have been covered following installation of 349 solar street lights. Remote and interior villages such as Ramnathpur, Gutguti, Baruncherra, Nunai FV, Kukicherra, Kanchiwala, Ahyalapur and Sahabnara, to name just a few, have been brought under solar street lights.
Another eight villages which have been groping in dark since independence have been recently installed with 80 numbers of solar street lights.
“With these villages being lit after decades of darkness, the aspirations of its residents got wings. They have started dreaming of a bright future for their children as they could now study through the night,” said Assistant Commissioner, Parikshit Phukan.
APDCL has helped connect off grid interior villages such as Raifalmara, Bhai Bonti, Bangla Basha, Gendacherra, Gutguti and Bandukmara Grant with rooftop solar panels covering about 1,551 individual households.
“The remotest corners of the district still lack electricity connectivity due to lack of terrain and off grid issues. In a bid to ensure that these remote villages are also mainstreamed, solar as an alternative source of energy was proposed to be tapped into, as it is eco-friendly, renewable and self serving option. ONGC was asked to sponsor the project through its CSR initiative. We are proud to announce that villages that have no electricity connection today have the power of solar as a ray of hope,” said Deputy Commissioner, Keerthi Jalli.
“Renewable energy-based solar power will boost small businesses, create local jobs and build economies. This will improve living standards in villages,” said Phukan.
“That in turn will ensure women’s empowerment, better health and education. There cannot be a better development agenda for the district,” he added.
Emergency services like medical have also been covered under the project to ensure 24×7 services. Today, almost all the sub centres and health institutions including the SK Roy Civil Hospital have been covered under Project Souro Shakti and have all been lit by solar lights irrespective of availability of electricity. 255 solar lights have been installed in the health sector alone.
Taking this initiative a step further, the administration has chalked out an ambitious plan to cover all educational institutions under the project. Work is going on in full swing. One such project had been inaugurated by the Deputy Commissioner at Dholcherra-Belaipur, a remote village close to the Assam-Mizoram inter-state border, recently. “It’s sheer joy to see students gather under the solar street lights to pursue their studies. Like the sun, the solar street lights will not only be harbinger of growth but also help dispel darkness from their lives,” said Jalli.
A 10-year blueprint predicts 57 percent of India’s electricity capacity will come from non-fossil sources by 2027.
Solar energy is a particular focus and will contribute 100 gigawatts (GW) of the renewable energy capacity target of 175 GW by 2022.