The Gujarat government after the launch of solar power plan for residential areas and farmers now plans a similar plan for slum dwellers
The Government of Gujarat plans to launch a solar power generation scheme for slum dwellers. Not only will slum dwellers get free power, but also the government will also pay them for surplus power that they generate by installing solar panels.
In June last year, the state government launched solar power generation schemes for households with terraces and the Suryashakti Kisan Yojana (SKY) for farmers. Under the SKY, Farmers having existing electricity connection were reportedly given solar panels as per their load requirements. The State and Central governments gave 60 % subsidy on the cost of project. The farmer is required to take 5 % cost, while 35 % was provided to them as an affordable loan with interest rates of 4.5-6 %. The scheme duration is 25 years, which is split between 7-year period and 18-year period. However, these schemes have received a modest response from users.
Speaking about the new solar initiative, a top government official told a local daily, “The rooftop solar power generation facility is for well-off citizens who have concrete houses with terraces. The state government has decided to extend this facility to slum dwellers as well. The Gujarat government will soon announce a new scheme for slum dwellers who can produce solar power for their need and can earn revenue by selling surplus power.”
“The state government is attempting to make the scheme as feasible as possible for slum dwellers, with the government bearing a major portion of the installation cost. The scheme will have both individuals as well as community solar power generation options. Initially, the government is likely to implement the scheme in slum pockets of major cities as a pilot project,” official added.
Under the solar scheme, the government will set up flexible solar panel domes in slums and use vacant spaces in the slums to generate electricity. The electricity produced will be supplied to the slum and additional or excess power generated will be purchased by the government.