BHUBANESWAR:The State Government has prepared a master plan to develop the Capital as a solar city.
The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has shortlisted Bhubaneswar along with 54 cities in 27 States for development as solar cities under Solar Cities programme.
The Ministry has been implementing the programme under which a total of 60 cities and towns are proposed to be supported for development as green cities.
Five cities, one each in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir have got in-principle approval from the Ministry.
The criteria set by the ministry for the identification of cities include a city having population between 50,000 and 50 lakh (with relaxation given to special category States including the northeast ones), initiatives and regulatory measures already taken along with a high level of commitment in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The objective is to reduce conventional energy by 10 per cent in a span of five years through development of renewable energy and energy efficiency measures.
Studying the historical growth in consumption levels and population growth projections until the year 2018, it has been assessed that energy consumption in Bhubaneswar in 2017 will be 2911.42 MU equivalent electricity consumption and in 2022, it will amount to 3643.81 MU equivalent electricity consumption.
The total indicative budget for development of Bhubaneswar as solar city is estimated at Rs 514.38 crore which will be invested over five years of implementation period of solar city development programme, official sources said.
As per the Solar Cities programme, BMC will have to set up an independent smart city cell and solar city stakeholders committee. They will take necessary decisions with regard to rebate in property tax and in electricity tariff though distribution utilities to the users of solar water heaters, especially in domestic sector.
The civic body will amend building by-laws for making use of solar water hearing systems mandatory in certain category of buildings.
Meanwhile, the Centre has given an in-principle approval to the pilot rooftop solar power projects in the twin city of Bhubaneswar and Cuttack.