Cyclone Amphan: A house in powerless Kolkata locality is lit with inspiration for aatmanirbhar Bharat
A Kolkata resident is shining light on Kolkata when parts of the city are plunged in darkness in the aftermath of Cyclone Amphan.Updated: May 23, 2020 15:33 IST
At a time when an entire neighbourhood in east Kolkata has plunged into darkness since Wednesday after cyclone Amphan hit the city, one house in the locality is still lit with power generated domestically, in a true demonstration of the mantra of self-sufficiency.
The house belongs to a noted renewable energy expert who has installed rooftop solar panels and produces 1 kilowatt of power when the sun shines brightly.
“We can run at least six lights, two fans and the television set. We can even charge our mobiles. The power comes from the solar panels installed on our roof top. I can also operate a small pump to fill the overhead tank during emergency,” said SP Gon Chowdhury, a renewable energy expert and a Green Oscar awardee.
The entire locality of Madurdaha in east Kolkata, barring a few pockets, has plunged into darkness since Wednesday when cyclone Amphan had hit with winds gusting up to 130 km per hour. Locals said that a high tension electric wire, which supplied power to the area, snapped when a large tree uprooted by the storm fell on it. Even the local police station is running on an electricity generator.
“We are totally aatmanirbhar in power supply in such emergency situation at least. When no other house in my neighbourhood has power connection, we can at least have something to rely upon. We don’t need to depend on the power supply corporation in such crisis,” he added.
In April this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while launching the Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (Self-reliant India campaign), had said that the pandemic has offered India a valuable lesson on the importance of self-reliance and self-sufficiency. The country, each state within it, each district within every state, and each village within every district must aspire to attain the twin goals, he had said.
The power in Chowdhury’s house runs on the grid connection in normal situations. But a combination of solar power and grid not just helps him to save power bills but also manage such crises better.
“Kolkata being near to the sea is cyclone-prone. The intensity and frequency of cyclones are on the rise because of climate change. I believe every house should have such arrangements to run at least a light and a fan. It doesn’t cost much. On the contrary it helps to save power bills as solar power costs less,” Chowdhury added.