Solar street lights project in 1,550 villages hangs fire Project to illuminate streets of over 1,550 Punjab villages with solar lights has hit a roadblock mid-way.
This project was launched with much-fanfare by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) government. The Rs 72 crore project is hanging fire with the Union government not releasing its share of funds since the formation of the Congress government in Punjab.The Solar street lights has come to a halt with the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) not releasing the second installment of its share of funds despite repeated representation by the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA). Under this project over 50,000 solar powered streetlights were to be installed in 1,550 villages across that the Union government, state government and the village panchayats have to bear the cost.The project was virtually abandoned midway after installing over 25,000 street lights in over 750 villages as the PEDA failed to get money from the MNRE. The state government has already released its share of Rs 38 crore, a senior officer of the PEDA informed. The Union government was to pay Rs 4,800 for a street light, Panchayat had to make payment varying from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000 per streetlight while the rest amount was to be shared by the state government.The cost of street lights whoever varies from Rs 1,350 to Rs 1,490 as per the quality and capacity of the battery. The cost of a streetlight to be installed in villages falling in Kandi and border areas besides historical places was fixed at Rs 1,500 per unit.“We have written thrice to the MNRE seeking their share of money so that the project could be complete,” said H S Sandhu, AGM (Projects), PEDA. Balour Singh, Executive Director, PEDA, said that the second phase of the project will be pace up as and when they receive funds from the Union government.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook