With the Central Prisons in the state tapping the potential of solar power, the Ernakulam District Jail is also set to follow suit. This will help bring down the power bills to a great extent.
According to officials of the District Jail, the solar panels brought to the jail will be installed shortly which is expected to generate three kilo watt of power. “The solar energy will be used to light bulbs and fans at the cells and the administration section. We can reduce the monthly bill by 40 per cent. We set aside huge amounts for electricity bills each month as there are several cells in the jail. We can also reduce power consumption in a large way as the present lights will be replaced by LED lights once the solar panels are installed,” officials said.
The solar panels will be set up by a private company after receiving the tender from the government. The project to shift to solar energy will be undertaken in jails across the state with a fund of `25.56 crore earmarked in the 13th Finance Commission for modernisation of jails.
Kottayam District Jail where solar panels were installed a few months ago has also switched over to the alternative energy. Sunil Kumar, Superintendent of the jail, said that electricity consumption has come down considerably, about 40 per cent, after moving to solar power.
The solar project was first launched in Poojappura Central Prison in 2012 with a fund of `14.79 after which it was implemented in Kannur Central Jail with a fund of `8 crore. In the second phase of the project, district jails will switch over to solar energy. In the next phase all the sub-jails and open jails will be powered by solar energy.