AGARTALA: Tripura government has embarked into a plan to provide power connection to 52,000 odd remote tribal families tapping solar energy by six moths under Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana (Saubhagya).
Deputy Chief Minister, holding the charge of power Jishnu Dev Varma said here today that providing power supply from conventional sources to the remote household is not only costly affairs to erect power line also not feasible to maintain them because of distance and accessibility problem.
"The identified 52,000 beneficiaries are spread over 531 villages across the state. In each location hardly 3 to 7 families have residing in the hills. But supplying power from conventional sources via grid would be most inconvenient where solar energy is the best alternative," Dev Varma said.
He however, pointed out that Tripura is prone to annual natural disaster like thunderstorm, high rainfall and landslide, which mainly affect the power supply line and road communication.
This year also Tripura State Electricity Corporation Ltd (TSECL) incurred a huge loss of property and infrastructure due to bad weather.
It was also not possible for the department and corporation to restore the service immediately as per the commitment given under citizen charter.
As a result, most of the areas power supply has been affected seriously.
Moreover, the corporation did not able to ensure sufficient manpower for providing quality service to the customers and that sometimes create unnecessary chaos, Dev Varma stated.
He underlined that Prime Minister had launched the scheme aiming to provide last mile connectivity and electricity connections to all un-electrified households in rural areas.
It has also the provision of providing Solar Photovoltaic (SPV) based standalone system for un-electrified households located in remote and inaccessible villages/habitations, where grid extension is not feasible or cost-effective.
Tripura is designing the plan covering both the objectives.
Dev Varma said, poor families would be provided free of cost connection but they have to pay the monthly rent and users bill and added, "If we provide them grid power the corporation shall not only ensure the supply and maintenance of power. But at the same time, payment of monthly bill will be a problem for the poor consumers for which we thought to make solar power available for the families even though installation is costly."
The ministry of power has sanctioned Rs 800 crore for Tripura to provide power to remaining uncovered 1.41 lakh families by next six months.
The government will provide individual solar panel to each of the household having the capacity of three bulbs and two fans.
Since, the solar power will not to take into grid, the maintenance of service would be easier and not affect the enter system if break down, he added.
He said the government is going to install smart meter for 1.5 customers would be started soon where consumer would get pre-paid power supply and the recharge of the connection would be possible from any vendor like mobile phone recharge.
The smart metering will cut down the cost of unnecessary litigation in TSECL and revenue loss.