Shimla: Remote rocky villages of Himachal Pradesh, where snowfall often damages electricity transmission lines for days and breathing kerosene fumes is the only option, are coming out of darkness with the government installing solar lights for individuals and community places.
Also it is providing solar-run pump sets, cookers and lamps across the hydropower surplus state. Ram Singh, a villager in the remote Pangi Valley, told IANS over the phone that they had been literally living in darkness every winter.
"As electricity remains snapped for days or even weeks with the onset of heavy snowfall, the kerosene lamps are the only option for every villager," he said.
Naresh Thakur, another villager, said with the government's blanket ban in 1986 on felling green trees, kerosene was the only choice.
"But the kerosene lamps produce both light and hazardous soot. Our children have no option but to study by the light of a flame." Thanking the government for solving their problem, Thakur said the availability of solar power
improves their health and hygiene, especially the women.
The World Bank
estimates that breathing kerosene fumes is the equivalent of smoking two packets of cigarettes a day. Emphasizing on making every part of the state self-energy efficient, the state government is making all-out efforts.
The state's tribal areas -- Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts and some pockets in Chamba district -- are often deprived of electricity due to breakage of transmission lines during winter.
To scale up action on energy efficiency and to mitigate power crisis in winters, the government is setting up off-grid solar power plants and micro hydropower projects in remote areas, a government spokesperson told IANS.
The Pangi Valley in Chamba district is one such tribal area where an initiative has been taken to provide electricity to poor families, under which an off-grid solar plant of 250 watt is being provided to each of them.
Source : https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/renewable/himachal-pradesh-lights-up-rocky-villages-with-solar-power/85551465