The opposition went on to stage a walkout from the Legislative Council by accusing the J&K Science and Technology Minister Mr. Sajjad Gani Lone for giving rather unsatisfactory answers on the solar power production and also schemes in the state. The Congress member Mr. Naresh Kumar, who had asked one question related to the solar power at the Upper House, contested the figures that was given by Lone and stated that the information was not actually right and asked for some clarification.
Responding to Mr. Gupta’s challenging questions, the Minister stated under the grid-connected rooftop solar energy, this state by the next financial year end planned to achieve around 54 MW and also 450 MW in the next 4 years. But, he stated that the project for solar energy has not been processed under the Public Private Partnership mode thus far.
Lone stated that the J&K Energy Development Agency (JAKEDA) had distributed 33.5K SHLS (Solar Home Lighting Systems) and also 1800 SLLs (Solar Street Lighting Systems) in this state in the past 3 years as against the target of 2408 SSLs and 44,485 SHLs. He stated that the distribution of balance SSLs and SHLs are currently in progress. Gupta went on to challenge these figures and asked for clarification. The House saw some insane verbal arguments between the Congress members and the Minister after which the entire opposition came forward and asked for a reply. After becoming very unsatisfied by this reply, they went on to stage a walkout.
The minister stated that the procedure for the distribution of these SHLs is for covering all of the households of the unelectrified villages or hamlets that have now been cleared off by REC (Rural Electrification Corporation) for the basic lighting system under the RVE Programme. The minister went on to state that this department has gone on to distribute around 1575 SHLs and 224 SSLs in the Bhaderwah-Bhallessa constituency as against the total target of around 2132 SHLs and 274 SSLs that is fixed for Doda district. The NC Legislators Mr. Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo and Bashir Ahmad Veeri raised some supplementary questions on the main question.
In one of the recent press releases, it was stated that India is now geared up for launching the biggest solar rooftop tender for 1K Megawatt capacity projects. This major tender is most likely to be launched by the SECI (Solar Energy Corporation of India) – this is the company that is owned by the state. It is going to be something, which will give a big boost to the BJP government’s plans for the renewable energy capacity.
The Ministry of Renewable Energy stated in one of the press conferences that as the road towards the fulfillment of the Government’s goal is for installing the 40 GW rooftop solar power plants by the year 2022, SECI is planning to launch the tender of the 1K MW capacity for developing the grid linked rooftop solar capacity for all central government ministries as well as the other departments.