This model can be replicated all over Odisha to provide power to its nearly 3,900 villages.
Till now, in all rural solar projects, central units would supply power to households. Often, the exposed cables would be tapped by some, while others would draw more than their shares. This would cause the central unit to overload and trip.Though these problems have now been resolved by providing individual units to each household. ECCO CEO Vivek Bihani said,
The entire village has been involved in the planning and execution. Village mukia Narayan Hisa along with a local ITI diploma holder, Epil Kumar Singh, are responsible for the maintenance. The only maintenance required is regular cleaning of the solar panels and, in case of the central unit, ensuring that the water levels in the batteries are at the optimum mark. It is actually zero-maintenance.
They cost Rs 2,650 and Rs 1,750 each and villagers can get them on easy instalments through micro-finance. Nayak says NALCO and other companies are willing to subsidize these lamps as part of their CSR.