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Saturday, 15 July 2017 12:06

Nagpur Municipal Corporation's ambitious Model Solar City project shelved

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The Nagpur Municipal Corporation's (NMC) ambitious Rs1,453.10 crore project to develop the city into a Model Solar City has come to an end, thanks to the revision in policy by the central government and the cash-strapped condition of the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC).

NMC's electrical department had tabled a proposal before the general body seeking approval to execute solar power pack works of Rs7.37 crore on PPP model. The Centre had approved the works to produce 960 kV solar energy under the Model Solar City Project in September 2016. The Centre was supposed to bear 30% of the project's cost while remaining 70% by the NMC.

"As per the revised policy, NMC will have to execute the works on its own cost and then apply for the incentive with the Centre. The NMC is facing a financial crisis so will execute the works on PPP model," the official said.

The official added that it won't be possible for the NMC now to go ahead with the remaining work of the Model Solar City project.

In 2009, the then union minister for new and renewable energy had announced to develop Nagpur and Chandigarh as Model Solar Cities. Even, the UPA government approved the project of Rs1,453.10 crore in January 2013. The Centre was supposed to bear 50% of the total project cost while NMC was supposed to bear the remaining 50% of the project cost.

The UPA government also sanctioned works of Rs19 crore in phase-I. Five solar photovoltaic power generators, also called as solar powerpacks, with installed capacity of 25kW each were installed on NMC's main administrative office situated at Civil Lines and one each at Nehru Nagar, Lakadganj and Ashi Nagar zone offices. Also, 3,500 solar water heaters were distributed to interested citizens on 50% rates. Under phase-II, the works of Rs7.37 crore was approved in September 2016.

Condemning the decision to abandon the project, Congress minister Vilas Muttemwar said the city has lost a big opportunity to become a role model for the nation.

"It is a major loss for the civic body now that it will not get funds from the government for executing the works. I had a big plan for the city but BJP came to power at the NMC in 2007 and shattered the dreams. NMC did not submit detailed project report for three years. I pursued the project following which the NMC submitted the report in 2012 and was approved. The NMC never took the project on a positive note thinking it was approved by me. Chandigarh availed crores under the project and executed the required works on large scale," he said.

Now the remaining works of installing solar powerpacks at NMC's all establishments, government-run hospitals, educational institutions, converting street light to solar energy will not be taken up. Also, the plan was to encourage and help all households in the city to utilize solar equipments. That too, shall not be executed.

Additional Info

  • News Section: Solar Energy News
  • Month: July
  • Year: 2017
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