Solar-powered street lights being installed in rural markets in Tripura.

Agartala: Tripura Deputy Chief Minister Jishnu Dev Varma, who is also the power minister of the state, said the Tripura Renewable Energy Development Agency (TREDA) has taken up an ambitious project of installing solar-powered street lights in rural markets of the state, mainly located in the tribal hamlets.

“This is perhaps for the first time in the country that the state government is laying emphasis on sustainable power generation and consumption patterns in rural areas. It will give an impetus to the wheels of growth,” the Deputy Chief Minister added.

Elaborating on the initiative, the minister said, “During the Left regime, we did not hear the name of TREDA but it was constituted long back. We approved the project and now solar energy-based apparatus are being introduced in agriculture sector as well. Farmers are getting solar pumps in lieu of Rs 2,500. I must say, there is no other state in this country that is giving such a big subsidy to farmers. We are procuring the pumps at Rs 2.5 lakh and farmers are getting it by spending a very minimal amount.”

According to Dev Varma, “The solar street lights are being installed in 12 aspirational blocks on priority basis. The project is now on the verge of completion.”

Sharing more details on the project, Engineer Debbrata Sukla Das of TREDA said, “We have taken up the project with a plan of installing 15,000 solar-powered street lights, covering a total of 1,291 rural markets. The implementation began with the 12 aspirational blocks, where a total of 179 markets will be covered. For these markets, 2,351 streetlights have been allocated. The installation process is almost complete in six blocks, while in the rest of the six blocks work is under progress.”

Besides, TREDA has distributed 3 lakh solar study lamps among needy students. “More than 700 farmers have received solar pump sets, and biogas plants have been distributed among thousand of beneficiaries. All these efforts are being made to popularize renewable energy sources as a subsidiary of the traditional energy sources,” said Das. 

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