Identification of beneficiaries done through Gram Sabhas

The Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RD and PR) Department would construct a total of 1,497 solar-powered green houses for below poverty line families in Coimbatore district during the current financial year.

Work is on in 12 blocks of the district especially in villages such as Vellamadai, AS Kulam, Keeramathur in SS Kulam and Malumichampatti and Palathurai in Madukkarai. Under this scheme, Rs.1.80 lakh will be allotted for each beneficiary by the State Government, of which Rs.30,000 is for purchasing solar-powered home lighting system.

Additional Collector and Project Director of District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) N. Venkatesh told The Hindu that the identification of beneficiaries was done through the Gram Sabhas and approved by the district administration.

While the RD and PR Department had taken up the construction of houses, the Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA) was providing the solar equipment.

Under this scheme which began last year, he said that a total of 1,507 green houses were allotted for the district during the last financial year. Work began in full swing only by June as the project was delayed due to a variety of reasons such as elections to local bodies and formulating the rules and guidelines also took time as this was a new scheme.

“All the houses sanctioned for the last financial year were completed around ten days ago. The installation of solar equipment was currently underway and has been completed in 897 of the total 1,507 green houses. The rest would also be covered by New Year.”

District Collector M. Karunagaran, who is also the Chairman of the DRDA, was closely monitoring the project implementation, he added. Regarding the houses sanctioned for the current fiscal, Mr. Venkatesh said that work began in October and 22 houses have already been completed.

The DRDA was on course to achieve the target of 1,497 houses by March 2013. The solar panels would provide electricity for lighting purposes and could power five nine-watt bulbs.

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