India File

Telangana banks on solar power for energy security

V Rishi Kumar | Updated on January 20, 2018

Green power Solar panels are a common sight in Banjarpally, near Hyderabad V RISHI KUMAR

The two-year-old State is also banking on Centre’s scheme to address its power deficit

As the sun goes down, scores of hamlets and tribal habitats, each with up to a hundred people, in the forest tracts of Telangana face total darkness.

The only light available is from the chullha (earthen stove) and a few battery or solar-powered lights. It is difficult to provide grid-power in these regions, which are located in dense forest tracts.

Apart from these inaccessible regions, the newly created Telangana has a number of un-electrified villages scattered across various districts of the State. The government now wants to bring light to these places.

G Raghuma Reddy, Chairman and Managing Director of Southern Power Distribution Company of Telangana Limited, says the Corporation has submitted a proposal for sanction of ₹5,934 crore for electrification under the DDUGJY. “Out of this we were sanctioned ₹336 crore.”

  The State has reworked the proposal, as requested by the Centre, to get more funds. “Once the sanction order comes, we will tender the projects and have them executed within 18 months,” he said.

As a State, which was carved out about two years ago, Telangana started with a deficit of over 2,000 MW. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao wants to bridge that gap. In December 2015, Telangana signed up with the Centre for achieving 100 per cent household electrification.

As per the data on rural electrification in Telangana, the State has 52.49 lakh rural households and about 7 lakh un-electrified houses as of April 1, 2016.

The focus will now be on connecting them and strengthening the supply system with the support of the Central scheme.

Even as the administration gears up, people in the State are banking on solar power. About 120 km from Hyderabad, beyond the business hub of Siddipet in Medak district, a number of villagers have taken to solar powered lighting systems on their tiled roofed houses. About 100 households in Banjarapally have been fully powered up by solar lighting.

Ramesh Akula, a farmer whose house has a 500 kva solar system says, “I do not remember a time in the recent past when we did not have power. The use of solar energy and the grid power is seamless.”  

Published on May 23, 2016

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