HYDERABAD: The ambitious plans of the Secunderabad Cantonment Board to achieve self sufficiency to some extent in terms of power requirements seems to be falling flat as works have hit a road block due to lack of funds.
With its plans not taking off, three years ago the board had reiterated setting up of solar panels at all of its eight pump houses which use huge amounts of electricity. The total estimated cost was brought down from `7 crore to `5.8 crore. However, `1 crore was released and the board could implement the project only in two of the pump houses and the head office.
The pump houses are equipped with solar panels at Balamrai and Karkhana. Apart from this, the SCB head office is also completely solar powered. This made SCB become the first cantonment in the country to have a solar power plant. The board has been generating 60KW electricity on a daily basis. The other pump houses operating in Gun Bazaar, AOC, Mahendra Hills, Rudranagar, Bowenpally and Gun Rock, Bollarum still use traditional electricity. The board pays a monthly power bill of `1 crore, which it incurs for distribution of water through pump houses.
According to M Raju Kumar, superintendent of water and streetlights department in the SCB, the solar power plant project was initiated under smart cantonment board programme and SCB was selected to be the first among all 62 cantonment boards. “When the power plant is fully operational, all of SCB’s energy needs, including a power supply to its own offices and official residences of its officers, would be realized only through solar energy. The works are stopped due to lack of funds in SCB. We given representations to the Minister of Defence for funds,” he said.
When contacted Vice President of SCB J Rama Krishna said that the board has no funds to fully implement the solar power plant project. “We have submitted a report to Ministry of Defence for funds regarding the solar power project in the cantonment area. We have also been requesting the MoD to release the pending service charges (`468 crore). It is useful for developments works in SCB,” he added.