Assam's Janata Bhawan Makes History as India's First Solar-Powered Secretariat

In a groundbreaking move towards sustainable energy, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday inaugurated a 2.5 MW Solar Project in Janata Bhawan today.
Assam's Janata Bhawan Makes History as India's First Solar-Powered Secretariat
Assam's Janata Bhawan Makes History as India's First Solar-Powered Secretariat

In a groundbreaking move towards sustainable energy, Chief Minister Dr. Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday inaugurated a 2.5 MW Solar Project in Janata Bhawan today. With the establishment of this solar project, Janata Bhawan becomes the first green secretariat in the country.

The ceremony took place in the meeting room of the Lok Sewa Bhawan, with Power Minister Nandita Garlosa and Chief Secretary Dr. Ravi Kota in attendance.

The project boasts a capacity of 2.5 MW and will be maintained by M/s Madhav Enterprises for the next five years. This initiative is expected to save the Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) Rs 30 lakh per month, funds that were previously spent on electricity.

The government has ambitious plans to extend solar power to other government buildings across the state. Chief Minister Sarma has urged APDCL to prioritize solar projects in medical colleges and universities. The ultimate goal is to generate 3,000 MW of solar power in the near future, with an initial target of 1,000 MW to be produced in Karbi Anglong within the next two months.

Currently, Assam generates only 420 MW of electricity, far below the demand of 2,500 MW. The state government is keen to bridge this gap through increased solar energy production. Additionally, 138 residents have already benefited from the Pradhan Mantri Surya Ghar Yojana, with 1.8 lakh applications pending for solar panel installations that promise to significantly reduce electricity bills.

At present, Assam purchases electricity at Rs 10 per unit during peak hours, while supplying it to customers at Rs 5.65 per unit, resulting in substantial losses for the power department. To address this, APDCL has been asked to implement automatic power cuts in 8,000 government offices and educational institutions across the state, with a directive to extend this measure to all government offices by 8 pm.

From July 1, senior officials, including the Chief Minister and ministers, will be responsible for paying the electricity bills of their government residences. Furthermore, the Chief Minister has announced a reduction in electricity bills by Re 1 per unit starting April 1 next year.

Despite these challenges, the power department has managed to turn a profit over the last three years, contributing Rs 60 crore in revenue to the government exchequer. This solar initiative at Janata Bhawan marks a significant step towards sustainable energy and financial savings for Assam.

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