Bharatpur's Keoladeo bird sanctuary, a world natural heritage site, has energised 11 mini solar power plants for its water requirements and power generation.
With this, the sanctuary has become free from conventional energy sources.
Water-pumps, lighting, computers, and air-conditioners in the sanctuary offices have started using solar energy.
Nine 200-watt plants, one 8-kilowatt solar hybrid power plant at the Dr Salim Ali Interpretation Centre, and one 2-kilowatt plant near the entrance were installed in August. The forest department now plans to get three six-seater battery-operated cars for tourist safaris, besides solar lanterns and solar searchlights.
"Solar plants for water pumps have yielded good results. Earlier we had to use diesel sets to pump out water, which caused noise and air pollution. Besides saving conventional energy, the solar plants are eco-friendly," said Anoop KR, director of the sanctuary.
RN Mehrotra, principal chief conservator of forest, Rajasthan, said this experiment would help the department to reduce its carbon footprint.
"The project, in collaboration with the Centre, has been implemented by the Rajasthan Renewable Energy Corporation Ltd (RRECL). The results are inspiring," he said.
The sanctuary, one of Asia's finest bird centres, has been facing an acute water shortage for more than four years and because of this its UNESCO title is also under threat.
The sanctuary has more than 250 resident and migrant bird species. Once Siberian cranes used to nest here but have stopped coming due to disturbance in their route in Afghanistan.