The Himachal Pradesh government has decided to make Shimla and Hamirpur solar-powered cities as part of a drive to save electricity.

“We are developing Shimla and Hamirpur as solar cities with the assistance of the central government,” Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal told IANS, adding that more cities and towns would be later included in the energy-conservation scheme.

Mr. Dhumal, who holds the energy portfolio, said solar panels would be installed in most of the government buildings for lighting and to heat them up in winter.

He also said provisions in the budget had been made to develop two energy parks in the next fiscal.

“Dr Y.S. Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry at Solan and the National Institute of Technology at Hamirpur would have solar energy parks,” he said.

The government has been distributing compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) to households free of cost. This has resulted in saving of about 270 million units of power worth Rs.100 crore in a year, Mr. Dhumal said.

Also, the government has started installing energy-saving street lights in Shimla.

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