Odisha News Insight

Barapitha – Odisha’s 1st Solar Powered Village

Barapitha1By Hemanta Pande: Odisha is the fastest growing economy in the eastern part of India. Accordingly, the electricity requirement of the state is also rising.  However, the state is not able to produce enough electricity to meet even the current needs of the people. So much so, accessibility of electricity is still a distance dream in many parts of the state even after nearly seven decades of India’s independence.

The state government has implemented various schemes including Biju Saharanchala Vidyutikaran Yojana (BSVY), Biju Gram Jyoti Yojana (BGJY) and centrally sponsored Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY) to provide electricity accessibility to the people of rural as well as urban areas of the state; still, the target for “Electricity to All” is truly a long way to go.

The plight of unavailability of electricity facility is not only the case in remote or hilly areas of the state but the nearby villagers of the state capital are also deprived to basic electricity needs. On the one hand, we are talking about e-governance, e-banking, e-education etc. on the other hand millions of people have not even seen the electricity in their villages.

BarapithaHowever, this year’s Gandhi Jayanti will remain to be cherished for the people of Barapitha, a tribal hamlet on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar, as it became the first solar village in Odisha. The solar project was installed with the support of Nalco, ECCO Electronics and Jakson Solar. Speaking on the occasion, Nalco CMD Tapan Kumar Chand said, “While today Green Energy has become a buzz word, the vision behind such an innovative initiative was to enhance the usage of non-conventional energy sources in households.”

Under the project, all the 61 households of the village would possess two Solar Home Lighting Systems with the facility to charge mobile phones and other devices. The village roads and school would also have Perennial Solar Lighting by Mast Head Lighting and Street Lighting Systems. The Village Community Centre has also been provided an LED TV, with dish antenna, which runs on solar power. Interestingly, the villagers’ joy knows no bound when they watched the India-South Africa T20 match at Dharmshala on the TV set of their community centre.

While talking to TNI, the village Ward Member Narayan Isha said, “Under BGJY scheme, the work of electrical wiring has been completed for some BPL households but it is yet to be electrified. The solar project in our village is much needed initiative; it will definitely helpful for all the people, particularly the students.”

Another villager Krishna Isha said to TNI, “It is great to see our children studying in the evening with help of solar light and we are now easily going outside without any fear, thanks to the solar street light.”

In his view, the school teacher of Barapitha primary school Ajit kumar Mallick said to TNI, “it’s really a welcome step to provide solar electricity to each of the households and the community centre but it would be better if the electricity connection is extended to the school as well. The students would get education with more comfortable environment.”

With limited hydro power generation, depleting fossil fuel reserves and concerns about its environmental impact, renewable energy is the best possible way to meet the electricity demand of the state. The government and corporate sector should go hand in hand and take necessary steps to install more solar projects in different places of the state.

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