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Solar lanterns to light up 1,000 villages

By Our Staff Reporter

BANGALORE, AUG. 19. As many as 6.6 lakh houses in 1,000 villages in the State will get at least one solar-powered lantern as part of a `self-village energy security programme' involving the State Government and the Union Ministry for Non-conventional Energy Sources (MNES).

This is part of a scheme to electrify `remote' hamlets using renewable energy, the Minister for Energy and Public Works, H.D. Revanna, told reporters here on Thursday, on the eve of Rajiv Gandhi Akshaya Urja Divas (Renewable Energy Day).

Rs. 100-crore project

He said the 1,000-village electrification project would cost Rs. 100 crores. The MNES would provide 90 per cent of the funds and the State the rest. The project is to be facilitated by Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Ltd. (KREDL). The Managing Director of KREDL, B. Shivalingaiah, said the organisation was identifying the 1,000 villages. Villagers would initially have to pay Rs. 40 to Rs. 50 a month under the scheme, he said.

Phased electrification

Mr. Revanna said there were 22 lakh households to be electrified in the State. Power connections would be given in phases. Of the State's 26,000 villages, 13 to 19 remote villages had no power. These too would be covered under KREDL's `photo-voltaic' electrification programme.

Dr. Shivalingaiah said renewable energy had to be promoted because demand for electricity was growing at 8 to 9 per cent every year.

Programme

On Friday, KREDL is organising a run that will start from the Vidhana Soudha at 9 a.m. and end at the Palace Grounds. An official function will be held at the Palace Grounds from 10 a.m.

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