Solar panels & rainwater harvesting soon to be must for Uttarakhand homes
july 28, 2021

Dehradun: Soon it will be mandatory for people in Uttarakhand to present their rainwater harvesting and solar power plant plans while seeking clearance of their house maps from the urban development department. Depleting groundwater levels and fluctuating climate conditions has pushed policymakers of this Himalayan state to think of pushing for renewable sources of water and electricity.

“Climate change is staring us in the face, it is time that we step into a culture where renewable sources of energy are utilized rather than non-renewable. Rainwater harvesting will recharge aquifers, reduce urban flooding and ensure water supply in water-scarce areas. We have to adopt greener ways of living to sustain greenery,” said S P Subudhi, director, directorate of environment conservation and climate change, Uttarakhand.

The idea which is being mooted by the directorate of environment conservation and climate change has plans to drive Uttarakhandis towards a sustainable mode of living. Interestingly, the people of this hill state have traditionally co-existed with nature but with increased urbanisation and industrialisation have moved away from the old way of life.

As per a rough estimate provided by the state government, around 13,372 sq km area in Uttarakhand where the groundwater can be artificially recharged by 5,335 million cubic meter of harvested rain water.

Uttarakhand which thrives on power generated from all three sources -- solar, hydro and thermal -- continues to buy electricity from other states but the environment directorate wants to end this dependence. Uttarakhand has 295 MW installed capacity of domestic solar power plants, which includes both domestic as well as ground mounted solar plants.

The environment directorate is especially pushing for electricity generation from renewable sources. “Through a rooftop- or ground-mounted solar plant at home people will be able to generate their own electricity. This will release surplus energy for the state’s industries, pushing them to grow. Uttarakhand will not need to purchase electricity from other states,” added Subudhi.

The urban development department has appreciated the plan in the wake of increasing urbanization and the rising need for water and power in the state. “Interestingly, in Dehradun alone there are 104 residential welfare societies and if all of them adopt these two green features then it would help the district conserve water and electricity.” said Ravi Pandey, additional director of Urban Development Department.

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