Economy

Magsaysay winner Hande, a familiar name to bankers

Anil Urs Bangalore | Updated on July 29, 2011 Published on July 28, 2011

Raman

Solar power transforms

Mr Harish Hande, who's in the news for receiving the Ramon Magsaysay Award for this year, is a familiar name to many bankers in North Karnataka.

Mr Hande, who has been promoting use of sustainable and affordable energy, has played a key role in transforming many villages in the region, through the Dharwad-based regional rural bank – the Karnataka Vikas Grameena Bank (KVG).

Mr Hande's Bangalore-based Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) with the help of KVG Bank has been actively providing solar power for its lighting and water heating in North Karnataka districts of Dharwad, Belgaum, Bijapur and Bagalkot.

According to Mr Shambashiva Reddy, Chairman of the bank, “The bank, by selecting SELCO as key implementing partner since 1995, has been taking an active part in the propagation of non-conventional sources of energy in North Karnataka since 1994.”

“We have made an effort in conveying the message of usage of solar energy in rural areas. It has been conducting solar user programmes regularly for creating awareness about solar energy utilisation,” he added.

20,000 solar accounts

The bank's partnership with SELCO commenced in 1995. Initially, it had financed 30 to 35 units amounting to Rs 70 lakh. Today, the bank has over 20,000 solar loan accounts – over 50,000 units (both lighting and water heating units) with exposure to the tune of Rs 43 crore.

“This financial year, we have set a target to achieve 100 villages in 13 north Karnataka districts where the bank is operating,” said Mr Reddy.

In addition to SELCO, the KVG Bank has nine implementing partners such as Tata BP, Orb and others.

MNRE initiatives

Last year, the bank conducted about 190 programmes with financial support from the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) at district-taluk level and 14 villages were converted as cent percent solar villages.

Early this year, the bank bagged MNRE award for its performance under solar lighting financing and three branches - Jainapur (Bijapur), Telsang (Belgaum) and Minajagi (Bijapur).

Uninterrupted supply

Apart from funding lighting and water heating units, the bank had installed solar PV power packs in 87 rural branches up to March 31, 2011 and the branches run exclusively on solar power.

“Of this, 25 were installed in 2010-11.

“Since they get uninterrupted power back-up, the branches run smoothly to the highest satisfaction of the customers,” explained Mr Jayateerth Nilogal, manager-advances, KVG Bank.

Published on July 28, 2011
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