Express News Service

RANCHI: Learning lessons from the coronavirus pandemic, Jharkhand has decided to equip all government hospitals, including community health centers (CHCs) and primary healthcare centers (PHCs) with roof top solar plants in the next few months.

According to officials at Jharkhand Renewable Energy Development Agency (JREDA), during the pandemic it was observed that keeping the freezer and other medical equipment working is important for preserving the medicines for a longer period of time. It was decided to install 2-4 KW small solar power plants in all CHCs and PHCs across Jharkhand.

Along with the health care centers, police stations, residential girl’s schools and tribal hostels will also be equipped with solar power plants to ensure a regular supply of electricity with an intention to reduce power consumption by at least 40-45 per cent. As many as 1,400 buildings have been identified under Renewable Power Development Programme.

According to JREDA Project Director Vijay Kumar Sinha, about 20 MW power is expected to be generated by installing roof top solar plants on these 1400 buildings. “As of now, our first priority is health centers like CHCs, PHCs, Sadar Hospitals, secondly, we will be focusing on police stations, then comes residential girls school and tribal hostels,” said the Project Director.

It will not only install but also be committed towards its maintenance, he added. “We are also developing IOT System through which there will be a chip fitted with every solar plant which we would enable us to know sitting in Ranchi that whether it is functioning well or it has stopped working or has developed a snag which may be fixed in the next couple of hours,” said Sinha.

Responsibility of maintenance is given to the bidder along with the tender for at least 5 years, he added. Sinha said that life of the solar panel is more than 25 years, while batteries last for at least 5 years. “ Out of the 1400 government buildings identified for the purpose, installation of solar power plants in 783 buildings have already been completed. The rest will be covered within the next couple of months,” he added.

With this, electricity consumption from the traditional source of energy will be reduced to more than 40 percent. “Despite financial constraints, Rs 180 crore was allotted in the last two years for installing solar power plants in the state so that the consumption of traditional sources of energy could be minimized. This means the government is serious,” said JREDA Director KK Verma.