“Benefits of water conservation, waste recycle and solar energy should be replicated”
Motivated by the savings made at the President’s Estate over the past 24 months alone by switching over to energy efficient practices, President Pratibha Patil has urged all State Governors to consider and adopt the Rashtrapati Bhavan model of energy conservation in their respective Raj Bhavans.
Citing the example of the Estate where project “Roshini” has been designed to make the President’s official residence and the immediate area around it a zero-waste zone, Ms. Patil has urged the Governors to implement eco-friendly practices.
“The President has always shown a keen interest in energy conservation. She believes each one of us can reduce the carbon footprint wherever possible. Inspired by her, the residents inside the Estate have undertaken holistic and comprehensive measures for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources,” said a Rashtrapati Bhavan official.
The President now wants the benefits of water conservation, waste recycle, solar energy and composting to be replicated at large and in Raj Bhavans across the country.
“Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Dr. Farooq Abdullah, too, had recently emphasised that like the President’s Estate, if the Raj Bhavans take up similar programmes with the same spirit and zeal it would send a strong message to the people to make endeavours to live in an eco-friendly habitat and ensure future energy security. The President has conveyed this message to the Governors,” said the official.
Pointing out that the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has agreed to offer all possible assistance, including financial, for implementation of programmes to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions, the President has suggested that all Raj Bhavans, State Assemblies and Secretariats should take up the offer and lead in energy conservation.
“The President wants the energy-efficient and zero-waste model of the Estate to be used as a template. A year after being initiated, project Roshini’s progress has been encouraging. A 50 kW solar power plant has been installed to meet the power requirements of the auditorium inside the Estate, besides lighting up the 100 solar streetlights. Similarly waste from the households in the Estate is being recycled and used for vermin composting and manure making. The President wants similar exercise to be carried out wherever possible,” the official said.
Some of the Raj Bhavans, like the one in Kolkata, have already begun tapping solar power. Ms. Patil on a recent visit to the city had switched on the 12 solar power panels at the Governor’s residence. In Kerala too the Governor has expressed interest in improving the efficiency of energy use at Raj Bhavan.
Between August 2008 and 2009, a 0.88-metre rise was noted in the water table inside the Estate, while energy savings from August 2006 to July 2009 in the main Rashtrapati Bhavan building alone have been worth Rs.190 lakh. Energy savings after installation of solar plant and solar street lights has been about 42,560 kWh. While 450 trees have been planted in the past one year, 25-30 quintals of organic manure from vermin compost pits and 32 quintals of manure from the composting pits run by the Rani Jhansi self-help group has been produced.