Cold response to solar panels in Chandigarh, admn fails to implement policy | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Cold response to solar panels in Chandigarh, admn fails to implement policy

Law mandates all kanal houses to install a solar plant; only 70 of 7,600 houses have done it in a year

punjab Updated: May 26, 2017 10:49 IST
Hillary Victor 
Solar panels on rooftops of a house in Sector 38, Chandigarh.
Solar panels on rooftops of a house in Sector 38, Chandigarh.(Sikander Singh/HT Photo)

More than a year after installation of solar power panels on rooftops was made mandatory for houses of 1 kanal area and above, the Chandigarh administration has failed to ensure implementation.

Less than 1% (70) of 7,600 houses have installed the equipment for 1 KWH that costs Rs 60,000. However, the owner of the house pays Rs 42,000 with the UT administration providing a subsidy of 30% on installation.

A 1KWH hour power source means that 100-watt light bulb can be operated for 10 hours (equal to four units for traditional power). A kanal house consumes 30 units a day.

The consumer can recover the Rs 42,000 investment, if he uses the panel for six years. The life of the panel is 25 years with cleaning required every 15 days.

HOW IT AFFECTS YOU?
  • Alternative to traditional power: In its initial stage yet, solar power could become a saving grace in case of outages as it has its utility, but limited at best. It also needs to get more cost-effective
  • Maximum savings Rs 500 a month: A 1KWH (four units of traditional power a day) costs the owner of a kanal house Rs 42,000 .On an average, a kanal house with four members consumers 30 units a day. So, can result in savings of 120 units a month or around Rs 500 a month; with a unit of power priced at Rs 4/unit.
  • 30% subsidy given: Against a cost of Rs 60,000, the installer pays Rs 42,000 with the UT admn offering a subsidy of 30%.
  • Apply online, permissions come in a month: Information to apply for the plant is available on crestchd.org.in. One has to fill an online form and all clearances come in a month; installation process is 3 days.

“There is a misconception among residents that a solar panel is not viable for the long term. Cheap availability of traditional power means people are non-serious,” said Santosh Kumar, CEO, Chandigarh Renewable Energy Science and Technology (CREST).

Interestingly, Chandigarh was declared a model solar city in 2012. Over the past five years, the administration has failed to create awareness and residents have been a uninterested in offering rooftop of their houses for solar energy panels.

Akhil Kaushal, owner of Inter-Solar Systems, a company in the business of installation of these panels, Chandigarh says, “People are not aware and feel that this project is not viable.”

“The UT electricity department does not give its permission, which harasses residents,” claimed Chander Mukhi Sharma, manufacturer of a solar power plant in city.

“The UT must create awareness and introduce a penal clause for not implementing the decision,” said Baljinder Singh Bittu, chairman, FOSWA.