About us Subscription | Guest Book | Contact us


News & Views on the Revolutionary Left

Solar power for rebel hotbed

Solar power for rebel hotbed

Calcutta, Jan. 2: A hundred villages in West Midnapore will soon be lit up by solar power in this Maoist stronghold.

The government will embark on the project on January 4 in the Binpur block of West Midnapore, about 200 km from Calcutta.

Officials said the decision to install solar panels is part of a plan to improve the lives of the poor in Naxalite-infested Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore.

Belpahari, in Binpur block II, has often been in the news for the rebels’ gun battles with security forces and killings.

Minister for backward classes Jogesh Chandra Barman today said the demand for electricity in Binpur was a long-standing one. “Unable to provide electricity, we are arranging for solar lighting in 100 villages. This will benefit the villagers belonging to backward classes.”

“After Binpur, we shall provide solar lighting to the other districts where extremists are misguiding poor villagers.”

The solar lighting project in West Midnapore has been assigned to the West Bengal Renewable Energy Development Agency. Santipada Ganchowdhury, its director, said the project would cover nearly 4,000 houses and three girls’ hostels in the Belpahari area.

He said work will begin on January 4 and Rs 7 crore has been earmarked for the project. The departments of power and backward classes will provide the money.

CPM MP Brinda Karat will also chip in with part of her local area development funds.

This is the first time that the renewable energy agency has taken up a project for people residing in the forest areas, Ganchowdhury said. “If this project clicks, we shall undertake similar projects in other forest areas where the supply of electricity is not easy.”

Each house will be provided two lights and a plug point for a fee of Rs 20 a month. Forty local youths would be recruited to collect the money.

Officials said the solar lamps would be bought from Canada and the UK. “All other items, such as the solar panels and holders, will be indigenous,” Ganchowdhury said.

Labels: , ,

posted by Bimal 3.1.07,


Post a Comment

<< Home

Posts(atom) Home