The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has sanctioned 19,000 solar street lights (SSLs) to Jammu and Kashmir, where the J&K Agency (JAKEDA) has already installed 2,200 such lights so far, officials said. The SSL project has a central financial support of Rs 42.06 crore against the total project cost of Rs 47.84 crore with the remaining project cost of Rs 5.78 crore to be provided by the Union Territory.
The project is being implemented by JAKEDA, under the command of its Chief Executive Officer Babila Rakwal, to ensure that the solar street lights are installed expeditiously at public places in consultation with the district administration of J&K, they said.
Out of the total sanctioned quantity, each district in J&K is being provided 950 numbers of SSLs, they said.
During the last financial year, 9,107 SSLs in 12 districts of J&K were installed by JAKEDA, they said.
During the current financial year, all efforts to install the balance 9,893 SSLs within the remaining time period of two months are being made in the remaining districts of J&K, they said.
In spite of emergence of second surge of COVID-19 making the inter- and intra-district movement of men and material difficult, JAKEDA under the command of Rakwal has managed to install 2,200 SSLs within a short span of 45 days, they said.
As many as 285 SSLs have been installed in Reasi, 206 in Kishtwar, 230 in Ramban & other districts of Jammu division. A total of 565 SSLs in Kulgam, 499 in Anantnag, 159 in Bandipora and other districts of Kashmir division have also been installed, after following all standard operating procedures relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, they said.
The solar street lights, being highly energy efficient, conform to the latest technical specification as per the ministry’s guidelines, and are equipped with lithium batteries for better performance and longer life, they said.
The SSLs are fully automatic, and operate from dusk to dawn without the requirement of switching ON and OFF.
The installation of these SSLs shall help in saving 8.4 units of energy annually resulting in saving of Rs 61.32 lakhs annually, officials said.
The solarisation of J&K by installation of SSLs will contribute towards reduction of 840 tonnes of carbon dioxide emission annually, they added.