In 2006, Kalyan Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) made it compulsory for all the newly constructed buildings to install solar energy system for heating water as geysers and water heaters consume lots of electricity. Since then, no building in the suburb has been issued No Objection Certificate (NOC) and Occupancy Certificate on completion unless the solar system is installed. Considering these solar initiatives, In its eleventh 'five year plan', Kalyan and Dombivli have been selected as two of the 11 future solar cities of India by the central government.
Yeswant Sonowme, executive engineer, electrical department, KDMC, says, "We are the first corporation in Maharashtra to implement this project successfully. The KDMC itself has taken the initiative by installing 75 solar energy poles in KDMC premises, gardens, commissioner’s bungalow, crematoriums and at Shastri Nagar Hospital and saving Rs 54,000 in its electric bill annually. We have spent Rs 25 lakh on the scheme from which rupees nine lakh was given as grant from The Ministry of New and Renewal Energy."
He further informs, "These solar systems operate automatically. Solar radiations are absorbed by the panels during the day and this solar energy is stored in the batteries. During night, this solar energy is utilised to light the lamps. The main objective of solar energy is to reduce the use of conventional electrical energy by 10 percent."
PR Bhagwat, deputy engineer of KDMC says, "We have installed a solar energy system that can heat 1,500 litres of water, which is more than sufficient for around 50 people. Now, we get hot water 24/7 in our taps." Umesh Thakkar from Kalyan (W) says, "Initially, we were reluctant to spend so much money for a solar system but as it was made compulsory by KDMC, we had to install it. Now, we are very happy as we know that it's once in a lifetime investment and has a lot of advantage."
Another resident, Pankaj Thakkar from Kalyan west says, "Now, the solar system has been made mandatory by KDMC so there's no way out for the builders to avoid it. But it depends on the agreement whether the builder charges for the solar system in his deed or the occupants bear the cost."Usama Kazi, architect engineer of Shelter construction, Kalyan (W) explains, "The KDMC is developing a technical structure under
Jawaharlal Nehru Renewal of Energy scheme to install 200 solar road lamps that is supposed to save electricity worth Rs 50 lakhs annually."
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