T. Saravanan

TEDA to offer a subsidy of Rs.1,000 A performance study will be conducted and if the project was found successful, it would be replicated in other districts

MADURAI: The Tamil Nadu Energy Development Agency (TEDA), in association with Ministry of Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES), has planned to provide solar disc cookers for all noon meal centres at government schools in the State at subsidised rates.

Talking to The Hindu , S.M. Vijayakumar, Deputy General Manager, TEDA, said the programme would be launched as a pilot project in select two or three schools in each district. The TEDA would offer a subsidy of Rs.1,000 for the cooker, which cost around Rs.6,500, and the remaining amount would have to be borne by the respective district administration, he added.

Initially, solar cookers would be distributed to noon meal centres in two categories centres with student strength of 25 to 50 and 50 to 100. While those with 25 to 50 students would get two cookers, those with 50 to 100 students would receive four, Mr. Vijayakumar said.

After installing the equipment, a performance study would be conducted and if the project was found to be successful, it would be replicated in other schools, he said.

Energy club

With an increasing burden on the fast depleting conventional sources, the government deemed it fit to focus on non-conventional energy sources, he said.

Keeping in line with the focus, the Ministry through TEDA would encourage engineering institutions to set up Energy Clubs to emphasise the need to understand non-conventional energy as an effective alternative to conventional energy sources, he said.

The Ministry has planned to offer Rs.25,000 as corpus fund for such Energy Clubs in over 82 engineering institutions in the State, which included 25 in southern districts, he said.

Besides being a discussion forum, where the students would get an opportunity to interact on various issues among themselves and with fellow members of other engineering institutions, these `Energy Clubs' would also help students develop new technologies which would reduce the burden on conventional energy sources, Mr.Vijayakumar said.

Moreover, they would also try to find ways on means to improve power generation using non-conventional energy and would visit neighbouring villages to create awareness, he said.

The members of the club, under the leadership of the respective principal of the institution, would primarily be students. Lecturers would also take part in the interactive session as facilitators. Members of the club would be encouraged to share the technology with students of other engineering institutions, he added.