A New Solar Plant in Ladakh Will Come up but With Conditions

The Rs 50,000 crore grid-connected solar project in Leh may have attracted a lot of attention but lawmaker Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, who represents Ladakh, has made it clear that the project needs to address local issues first.

With Article 370 abrogated, BJP lawmaker Jamyang Tsering Namgyal, who represents Ladakh Lok Sabha constituency, has welcomed the mega solar power project in the region but has made it clear that it can go ahead if jobs are reserved for the locals of the region and work on a land lease model.

BJP MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal of Ladakh Constituency
BJP MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal of Ladakh Constituency

“Investments are essential to come from outside, I welcome those. But there are a few conditions – we can’t give the land in your name, you will have to take it on lease and a portion of the jobs will have to be reserved for the local youth,” he told PTI.

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Reports say that center has cleared Rs 50,000 crore grid-connected solar project- which is single biggest investment proposal has been finalized. The Union Minister of Power RK Singh said that the government has even finalized the sites for this solar project, along with its implementation details of transmission link that can ensure its viability.

According to the report, Pang which is 117 kms away from Leh, will house the major chunk of 7,500 MW plant. This was the revised site after the UT’s wildlife department showed reservation about the impact of project activities on protected wildlife species that breed on the site in Nyoma block. It had asked the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) to consider a new location for the photovoltaic (PV) scheme in the Morey plains near Pang.

The transmission link has been routed via Manali in Himachal Pradesh and further to Kaithal in Haryana to ensure that electricity can be feasibly wheeled from the proposed project — billed as the country’s biggest solar project in capacity terms.

The renewable energy ministry plans to eventually scale it up to a 23,000 MW grid-connected Ultra Mega Solar PV project in Ladakh, with the 7,500 MW package forming the first part of the larger project.

The mega solar project is aimed at providing electricity for the region and preserving glaciers and reducing around 12,750 tonnes of carbon emissions every year.

Namgyal has further hinted that Leh and Ladakh regions, which are a popular tourist destination, do not have barren lands and are home to medicinal plants which are locally used. His take on the solar plant is commendable and practical as the parliamentarian took cognizance of the fact that the area which faces water shortage and receding glaciers need to weigh both development and sustainability before bringing any longterm change.

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