It is seen as a panacea to the power-cut problem

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) a global NGO in collaboration with the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) is setting up 1 KV solar power generation plants in 20 tribal ashram schools in the Agency area in the district as a panacea to the power cut problem which is adversely affecting the studies of tribal students.

This has taken up it as a pilot project by spending Rs. 2.75 lakh on each 1 KV plant and TERI expects to complete the project around August. The district administration would eventually cover all the Ashram schools depending on availability of funds.

TERI State Coordinator V.V.K.B.N. Murthy told The Hindu that solar energy based lighting will be a boon to the students in tribal areas and would solve the problem of frequent interruption to power supply. He says that solar power would be a success story in the rural and tribal areas if SHG groups are involved in the implementation of solar projects.

The NGO is introducing solar appliances including home lighting systems, individual lanterns and task lights, etc. in the villages which are under darkness most part of the evening and night, due to long hours of power cuts and also to the hamlets which do not have access to regular power supply. It is engaged in setting of Solar Charging Stations (SCS) in the rural and Agency areas to re-charge solar appliances. So far 100 SSS have been set up and 200 more will be read soon in the State.

TERI is imparting training to entrepreneurs and technicians selected by NGO’s through which the solar lights project is being implemented. The training involves supply, installation and re-charging of solar lights and the operation of solar charging stations. The entrepreneurs are supported by the village residents who pay Rs.10 each per month to the former which takes care of several charging stations and in turn earns his salary.

The objective of SCS is mainly to recharge the batteries which can be used for 4 to 6 hours every day. The stations can charge 50 lights at a time. Solar lamp not only tackles power shortage but also replaces kerosene lamps which are eco-friendly. Every village will have a local entrepreneur who will supply and maintain the solar lamps. Every nine villages will have a technical resource person who will oversee the smooth functioning of the solar charging stations. As many as 43 stations are operating in the district. NGO’s Samskruti, Vikas and Kovel Foundation are in partnership with TERI. Besides, 30 in Srikakulam, 44 in East Godavari district, 9 in Guntur, 12 in Karimnagar and 2 stations in Adilabad are running.