Mumbai: Two villages in Maharashtra which had no electricity till now have been
linked up by Tata Power's solar power initiative.
Tata Power Community Development Trust has provided power to about 50 households in Limbarvadi and Bhadaskonda of the Mulshi region in Pune.
Tata Power said the project is an effort to implement the Nabard (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development) scheme for solar energy-based home-lighting systems. The cost for a household is between Rs 16,000 and Rs 26,000, based on consumption.
The entire funding, training, operation and maintenance of the project are by the villagers themselves. The beneficiaries are eligible for 40 per cent subsidy. Tata Power said it was only a facilitator to tie up with Nabard for the government subsidy and banks for loans.
The initiative is aimed at empowering the network of self help groups (SHGs) to avail themselves of the solar energy-based home-lighting systems for communities.
As the network of SHGs has mostly women, the project has been designed to empower the womenfolk. Training programmes have been conducted for the beneficiaries and trainees.
The SHGs will run the scheme, employ two persons and be responsible for repayment of the loans. A large number of communities in these villages fall below the poverty line.
Tata Power said the project will contribute a token amount to the cost borne by each household, apart from the government subsidy.
Mr S. Padmanabhan, Chairman of the Trust and Executive Director (Operations), Tata Power, said, “This year, Project Suryaprakash (the solar power intiative) aims to light up 1,000 households of various communities in Maharashtra.”