The Aurangabad zilla parishad has decided to switch to solar power for its schools, especially those at distant locations, to beat the towering electricity bills.
At present, nearly 1,617 of the 2,190 ZP schools are without power for defaulting on a bill payment. The ZP administration has decided to shift to solar power to overcome the perennial problem of bill payment.
CEO Pavneet Kaur told TOI, “We have decided to switch to non-conventional sources of energy at our schools situated in far-off places across the district. This will solve the problem that has been troubling the administration for years. It will definitely save money.”
As per the plans, the ZP intends to use the funds available with the gram panchayats, apart from roping in corporate houses willing to help install solar panels at the schools through corporate social responsibility funds.
In addition to this, ZP has plans to take up the issue with people’s representatives so that some installations can be carried out using MLA and MP local area development funds.
A day after the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd employees paid a day’s salary to clear power dues of 35 ISO-certified digital schools and restoring their power supply.
The ZP schools in the district impart education to 2,26,540 students, many of who have to study in classrooms that do not have power. Out of these schools, there are 69 ISO-certified digital schools.
Authorities blamed the state government and the education department for neither allotting funds, nor creating a subhead under which electricity bills of these schools can be paid.
MSEDCL official said that in most cases, the power bills of Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000 are pending for months. Due to the failure to the pay these bills, the MSEDCL made temporary disconnections in some cases, while permanent in other cases.
Without elaborating much about power bills defaulted by ZP schools, MSEDCL Aurangabad zone joint managing director Om Prakash Bakoria said, “As of now, for the ZP schools, we have decided to take a sympathetic view.”
News Source: Economic Times