OREANDA-NEWS. June 8, 2012. Launches "Project Suryaprakash" by installing solar energy based Home Lighting Systems (HLS) at two villages - Limbarvadi and Bhadaskonda of Mulshi

Aims to scale it up to other villages of Maharashtra

Tata Power, India’s largest integrated power company today announced the launch of its new community initiative "Project Suryaprakash". Under this project, Tata Power Community Development Trust (TPCDT) successfully installed HLS for resident of two villages namely Limbarvadi and Bhadaskonda of the Mulshi region in Pune, Maharashtra.

The two villages will receive electricity for the first time due to this initiative.  These villages, comprising are most vulnerable as they are remotely located and have been without electricity until now. Keeping this in mind, TPCDT decided to introduce "Project Suryaprakash" in these villages. The project is one of the initiatives to facilitate the implementation of NABARD scheme of solar energy based home lighting system (HLS). The Project is being backed by the technological support of Tata BP Solar, a Tata Power group company.

"Project Suryaprakash" has been created with an aim to empower the existing network of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in the process of creating awareness and availing solar energy based home lighting systems (HLS) for communities. As the existing network of SHG comprises mostly women, the project has been designed to empower women folk. Training programs have been implemented for the beneficiaries and the trainees, mostly women, will be assisting the Tata BP Solar Team in the installation.

The uniqueness of this project is that the entire funding, training, Operations and Maintenance is being done by the villagers themselves and TPCDT has only been a facilitator by tying up with NABARD for Government Subsidy and Bank for loans. Hence TPCDT has developed a model whereby the SHG will be running the scheme, employing two persons and will be responsible for repayment of loans. A large number of communities in these villages fall in Below Poverty Line(BPL) category hence the project will be financially assisting every household by contributing a small token amount apart from the Government subsidy. TPCDT also aims to sign a MOU with Bank of Maharashtra (BOM) for financing the project.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. S. Padmanabhan, Chairman, TPCDT and Executive Director-Operations, said "This is a proud moment for us. We are happy to contribute to the rural electrification of the country initiative by providing electricity to these villages. This year, Project Suryaprakash aims to light up 1000 households of various communities in Maharashtra. We look forward to the support of various stakeholders which will be instrumental in fulfilling the lighting requirements of the targeted number of households."

Shri Bhau Margade, Deputy Sarpanch, Limbarvadi Village said "We are thrilled and everyone is waiting for the day when we will get the connection. We have been living without electricity since ages and the Home Lighting Systems (HLS) will give a new zeal to our life. We sincerely thank TPCDT for this wonderful gift."

Shri Janardhan Gore, Deputy Sarpanch, Bhadaskonda Village said "We were so used to darkness in our life that we rarely hoped to get out of it. We are thankful to TPCDT, that they have selected us as the first village for their project".

The project also includes generating employment for the community. The vision of ‘Project Suryaprakash’ is in line with National policies like Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission (JNNSM), which aims to create the necessary access to energy for the BPL and remotely located communities.