More than eight months after the Haryana government launched the ambitious solar home system scheme, there seem to be a few takers for it — at least in Gurgaon. Only 81 people have applied for the scheme since January this year against the target of 740 households set for this calendar year, officials said.
However, the number of applications has exceeded the target in neighbouring Mewat, with 382 households applying to get benefits under the scheme. The target in Mewat is 365 homes.
In November last year, the state government launched the solar home system scheme (also known as Manohar Jyoti Yojana) to promote renewable energy in Haryana. Under the scheme, consumers would be provided with a solar home system. The system would be equipped with lithium battery — which does not require maintenance and has long life — would be able to run a ceiling fan and three LED lights. Apart from this, this system would have a USB port.
And of the total number of applications received in Gurgaon, 71 applicants are from the rural areas while 10 are from the urban areas. In rural areas, 30% applications are from Pataudi, 25% are from Farukkhnagar, 16% from Sohna, and the remaining are from other rural areas, said officials. The district-wise targets have been set based on the census data of unelectrified households.
Officials attributed the less number of applications to people’s interest in grid-connected rooftop (GCRT) scheme. “People here in Gurgaon villages are more inclined towards GCRT solar power plants and there is greater availability of grids in the rural areas. This is one of the reasons for the less number of applications from Gurgaon,” said Rameshwar Singh, project officer of Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency.
“This is despite the state government giving a subsidy of Rs 7,500 under the scheme.” However, if a district is not able to meet the target due to a less number of applicants, then the households living in rural areas of other districts, where the demand is more, is provided with the solar home systems. When contacted, additional deputy commissioner Mohammad Imran Raza told TOI, “Gurgaon has become a cosmopolitan city, which is not the case with Mewat. Also, the difference in the economic conditions of both the districts is also noteworthy, therefore the demand for home lighting systems here is less in comparison to the neighbouring district. Moreover, the demand for grid-connected rooftop solar systems is quite high in Gurgaon, which also validates the argument of urbanisation.”
“However, we are trying to popularise the scheme through various media, especially in rural areas so that more people may get the benefits,” he added.
News Source: The Economic times