Chief minister Raghubar Das on February 8 promised to convert the state capital into a solar-powered city and light up 230 tribal villages with solar electricity by 2017.
Das made this pledge while inaugurating a dedicated 400KW grid-connected roof-top solar power plant on the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (Rims) campus.
The CM also simultaneously inaugurated grid-connected roof-top solar power plants at 12 government establishments including Ranchi University (300 KW), Nepal House (200 KW), Ranchi Collectorate Office (100 KW) and Project Building (135 KW). A total of 116 government buildings in the state are to switch over to solar power in phases.
Das said, "My mission is to electrify 23 lakh villages in the next three years." He added, "Earlier, a total of 30 lakh villages in the state were without electricity. In the last two years, we have provided electricity to seven villages. The planning for the remaining villages is over. These areas will get power by 2019." He further said, "Villages in remote areas, which do not have grid connection, will be connected with solar power.
The CM said, "The e-auctioning of coal blocks has made coal more expensive. Ranchi, on the other hand, has so much potential in solar power. Every house can have roof-top solar units. The government is giving heavy subsidy (for installing roof-top solar plants)." He added, "We will ensure that Ranchi becomes a solar city in one year," he announced.
The Rims' Rs 540-crore solar plant is expected to produce 5.4 lakh unit power annually. "The hospital can save Rs 37 lakh every year," RK Srivastava, the additional chief secretary (energy), said.
The Jharkhand Bijli Vitran Nigam Limited formally began distribution of energy efficient LED tube-lights and fans at subsidized rates. Over 2.5 lakh fans and five lakh tube lights, which are expected to consume 50% less electricity than other bulbs, will be sold at Rs 1,150 and Rs 230 a piece.