The State budget 2012-13 has focussed on sustainable development in good measure - as reflected in the repeated use of words like ‘green', ‘renewable' and ‘solar', which have come to be identified as concomitant with the paradigm shift in development discourse these days.
Among them, ‘green' is used a dozen times in various contexts, mostly in the context of adopting ‘greenhouse' technology for intensive agriculture. ‘Green', as sustainable and environment-friendly, is used three times -including at the budget announcement that a Green Technology Centre would be established in collaboration with the Centre for Earth Sciences Studies.
The budget also announces the plan for what will be one of Kerala's first green complexes — the proposed government offices complex at the Attipra village, Thiruvananthapuram. “The office complex will be a people-friendly and green complex,” the budget said.
The budget announced that Rs. two crore had been set aside for the project.
The budget has also promised a ‘green construction policy' for the State. The Public Works Department had announced early this year that a green building manual would be out soon to assist the construction sector in the State.
On the energy front, the budget has said that the rice bio-parks being planned in the State would have facilities for generating electricity from paddy husk.
More importantly, the budget says: “One unit of electricity saved is more valuable than one unit of electricity produced.” On the basis of this principle, the budget has announced a conservation policy to be formulated and implemented in the State with the help of Kerala Energy Management Centre.
The budget also promises extension of the energy audit programmes to industrial units and LED lighting strategies to be implemented through local government bodies.
The EMC, it is learnt, has already floated tenders for installation of LED lighting systems in some of the municipalities and corporations.
The budget has, for the first time, unveiled plans for tapping solar energy in a big way. A scheme for installation of 10,000 ‘solar houses' having capacity of 2 kw or more each on rooftops has been announced by the budget. The energy produced thus will be wheeled to the customers using the KSEB grid.