Though Chandigarh was declared a model solar city in 2008, the UT administration has failed to complete the projects undertaken since then. Becoming a solar city still remains a distant dream.
Under the model solar city project, the administration had to set up 12 rooftop-based solar photovoltaic power plants, but so far it has been able to install just three plants, of which two were inaugurated on Wednesday at Paryavaran Bhawan and Burail jail by union minister of new and renewable energy Farooq Abdullah.
The third one is at Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 46.
According to sources, the work on these projects could not be commenced in time due to non- availability of funds. It was in March 2013 that the administration received funds worth Rs. 16.25 crore from the government for the execution of model solar city programme.
Though the City Beautiful completed just three solar power projects since 2008, Abdullah appreciated the efforts being put in by the UT administration in making Chandigarh a solar city.
While taking to mediapersons on the sidelines of the inauguration function, Abdullah said the model solar city concept was initiated in 2008 in many cities across the country, but the concept picked up pace only after 2010. He claimed that Chandigarh was doing enough to reach the set targets.
The solar photovoltaic power plant projects are being executed by the Chandigarh Renewal Energy, Science and Technology Promotion Society (CREST).
According to senior officials of the administration, work on the remaining solar photovoltaic systems to be installed at different government buildings will to be completed within two-three months.
The minister was in the city for inaugurating the 50-KW grid interactive rooftop solar photovoltaic power plant at Paryavaran Bhawan, Sector 19, and 100-KW grid interactive rooftop-based solar photovoltaic power plant at Model Jail, Burail.
The minister called for participation of private players for the success of model solar city concept. He said, "We will need to attract private agencies and the public to install solar photovoltaic power plant on their rooftops. We also need wider publicity."
He informed that the ministry of new and renewable energy was taking a lot of efforts under the national solar mission for use of more solar energy for day-to-day needs.
The minister first inaugurated the solar photovoltaic power plant at Paryavaran Bhawan, which has been set up at the cost of Rs. 90.4 lakh and will generate 65,000 units of electricity per year.
Abdullah also inaugurated a solar photovoltaic power plant at Model Jail, Burail, making it the first jail in the country to have solar power plant on its rooftop.
The UT has urged Abdullah to provide grid connectivity guidelines and he has said the same will be finalised in three-four months. Farooq Abdullah drove the car to both venues himself and addressed mediapersons in Punjabi.