Thanks to renewable energy:Electric bulbs will finally glow in 1200 govt schools

Srinagar, Feb 4: Students in far flung areas have a reason to smile as more than 1200 government schools across Kashmir division will be provided round the clock electricity from the clean renewable energy sources.

The initiative comes in the backdrop of the report that only 36 percent of government schools in Jammu and Kashmir have access to electricity.

Official document of SAMAGRA, an Integrated Scheme of School Education, accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveals that Rs 60 crore has been approved by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for installation of solar power panels in more than 1200 schools across the valley.

Under this project, solar panels will be installed in 382 elementary schools of 10 districts of Kashmir at an estimated cost of Rs 496.60 lakh. These include 48, 29, 40 and 34 schools in Anantnag, Kulgam, Pulwama and Shopian district of south Kashmir respectively. Likewise 24, 46, 47 schools of Bandipora, Baramulla and Kupwara districts respectively will be covered under this scheme.

Around 42, 32 and 40 schools will be covered in Budgam, Ganderbal, and Srinagar district respectively under this scheme.

“Solar panels will be installed in 153 secondary and higher secondary schools at an estimated cost of Rs 994.50 lakh,” the document reveals.

Among the 153 secondary and higher secondary schools, 11 and four schools are in Anantnag and Kulgam district respectively while 8, 65, 13 schools are in Bandipora, Baramulla and Kupwara district respectively. Similarly, 36, 5 and 11 schools are in Budgam, Ganderbal, and Srinagar district respectively.

Solar power plants will be installed in another 682 secondary and higher secondary schools at an estimated cost of more than Rs44 crore. However funds for this project have not been released yet.

“In elementary schools solar power plant will generate 1 KW power which will enable them to connect essential services including electricity, computer lab. In secondary and higher secondary schools 5 KW power will be generated from the plant”, said another official.

An official at SAMAGRA said MHRD has approved and released funds for 553 schools and tenders have also been floated. However, he said, funds have been approved for 682 secondary and higher secondary schools but are yet to be released.

Director, SAMAGRA, Dr. Arun Manhas was not available for comments.

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