The District Rural Development Agency should evolve and implement a uniform procedure for setting up solar power units, with a view to achieving the State government’s objective of supplementing the growing demand for energy, said a cross section of councillors at the District Panchayat Council meeting held here on Friday. They wanted a coordinated effort to be taken by the district-level officials and block-level rural development officers.
Initiating a discussion, Rajkumar (AIADMK) said Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has been taking serious efforts to tide over the crisis due to shortfall in production. Setting up of solar energy-based installations has been one of the important initiatives in this regard.
He alleged lack of proper guidance on the part of rural development officials in achieving the goals. “Although I have been seeking the procedure for setting up the solar installation in villages in and around Manapparai, the block-level officials failed to coordinate,” he said.
Thangavel, another councillor, intervened to say that the procedure should be codified properly so that panchayat councillors could motivate villagers to set up solar installations.
T. Rajathi, District Panchayat Chairperson, who presided over the meeting, also joined the issue, blaming the officials for their poor coordination in this regard. The procedures stipulated by the block officials were inconsistent with the ones suggested by district level officials.
An official from the District Rural Development Agency assured the councillors that he would advise block development officials to adopt a uniform and hassle-free procedure.
K.P.T. Alagarsamy, a councillor representing Marungapuri ward, pleaded with Forest Department officials to allot a piece of land measuring 100 metres near Oonaiyur for laying a road linking A.Pudhupatti. In the absence of the road, villagers had to circumvent about three km. He also complained about massive damage to crops by wild animals.
V. Ilango, Forest Ranger, Manapparai, said the councillor could submit a proposal to the forest department for transfer of land to Marungapurai panchayat union for providing the road facility. As for checking the animal menace, he suggested setting up of solar fences with approval by the Forest Department.
When a discussion on delay in executing the road over bridge at Manapparai, Oyyamari, Lalgudi and Crawford was taken up, an official from the Highways Department said the general election and by-election last year delayed the process of land acquisition particularly in Manapparai. Steps were now being taken to expedite the work. The bridge at Oyyamari, located on the banks of the Cauvery, involved shifting of water pipelines and electric poles. In fact, the work on construction of the road over bridge at Tiruvanaikovil (which served as a diversion route for vehicles via Oyyamari) would be taken up only after the completion of the work at Oyyamari.