Plan to provide electricity with help of solar energy to 44 Naxal-affected villages of Balaghat, Shahdol, Umaria, Sidhi, and Singrauli districts, with an investment of Rs. 37.62 crore

The Madhya Pradesh government has approved an ambitious plan to provide electricity in 44 Naxal-hit villages of the State using solar energy. Under the plan, villages of Balaghat, Shahdol, Umaria, Sidhi, and Singrauli districts will be electrified by solar energy with an investment of Rs.37.62 crore, an official said on Friday.

The plan was approved at a meeting chaired by State Energy Minister and New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation Chairman Rajendra Shukla on February 4, the official. Providing electricity through conventional methods in remote areas, especially those are affected by Naxal activities, is difficult, therefore the government has planned to electrify them through non-conventional methods.

The Centre’s Rural Electrification Corporation under the Energy Ministry has sanctioned a plan in which the villages that are not electrified or partially electrified can be energised with new and renewable energy sources.

After the approval of the plan, the Minister said the work on the scheme will begin soon. Under the plan, electricity can be generated through methods like biomass, bio-fuel, mini-hydro, solar or bio-gas for energising a village. The scheme will benefit 4,437 families living in these villages with 762 kilo watt of power to be generated under the plan.

Each household will be provided with an 11 or 18 watt CFL and a 60 watt power point will be set up. Besides, for commercial use, a flour mill and a community centre in each village will be electrified.

Under the scheme, solar-powered street lights too will be installed in the villages. The Rural Electrification Corporation will bear 90 per cent cost of the scheme while the State government will meet the remaining 10 per cent, they added.