Two of Haryana’s prominent cities, Gurgaon and Faridabad, have been selected to be developed as ‘solar’ or ‘green’ cities under an ambitious scheme of the Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to address energy-related problems faced by cities.
Last week, a spokesman of the renewable energy department said an in-principle approval for Gurgaon had already been received and that of Faridabad was to be received soon.
Giving details of the programme, he said the ministry had introduced a new programme of ‘Development of Solar Cities’ during the 11th Five-Year Plan period (2007-12), with the objective of enabling/empowering the urban local governments.
Under the programme, a total of 60 cities having a population between 500,000 and 5 million were proposed to be developed as solar/green cities during the 11th Plan period, out of which in-principle approval for 15 cities, including Gurgaon, had been accorded by the ministry.
He said the project aimed at minimum 10 per cent reduction in the estimated demand of conventional energy at the end of five years, which can be achieved through a combination of energy efficiency measures and enhancing supply from renewable energy sources. Under the programme, urban local governments will be assisted for preparation of a master plan for increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy supply in the city.
The urban local governments will also make institutional arrangements for the implementation of the master plan and awareness-generation and capacity-building activities, including setting up of a Solar City Cell in the City Council for planning and implementation.
The financial assistance for installation of various renewable energy and energy conservation systems/projects will also be availed from the ongoing schemes of the ministry.
The spokesman said the first step under the project will be to prepare the five-year master plan having energy base line for these cities, including sector-wise energy consumption matrix and energy supply mix for the base year for all the sectors i.e residential, industrial, commercial and institutional sector, municipal sector and demand forecasting for the next five years.
He said that before finalisation, the master plan will be discussed in a stakeholder consultation workshop having representation from the elected representatives, local research and academic institutions, resident welfare associations, industries and corporate organisations and non-governmental organisations, etc.