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Smart energy at health cradle to save nature
- Experts hail AIIMS drive to adopt alternative forms of renewable power over conventional technology

Solar panels, earth-air tunnel and water recycling plant would soon be a reality at AIIMS-Patna.

All these and a host of other ultra-modern infrastructure are poised to make the health hub as much energy-efficient as possible.

Sources said the cost of installing the energy-efficient system at the premier health hub would be around Rs 1.55 crore and not only AIIMS-Patna but all the other new AIIMS facilities were also coming up with initiatives to save and retain energy.

Elaborating on the plan, Sanjay Kumar, assistant project manager, BL & Kashyap Company, said: “We are going to install solar lights worth around Rs 50 lakh on the street leading to the AIIMS main building on the campus to help save power. In case of a power failure, we would have an alternative. We would install an earth-air tunnel in the building, a technology that utilises the undisturbed earth temperature to heat and cool the buildings, at a cost of around Rs 50 lakh.”

He added: “Installing a water recycling plant worth around Rs 25 lakh at the hospital would further reduce the demand for fresh water. The plant would be able to dissolve organic matter and remove floating solid materials, up to 99 per cent impurities. AIIMS-Patna would also be fitted with low-flow fixtures to reduce water consumption. A few more renewable energy systems are being incorporated in the project but at this moment, I can’t reveal about those plans.”

Sanjay said 70 per cent work had been completed. “Work is slow because of late payment. Three months ago, we had sent a Rs 1.5 crore bill to the ministry but that has not been cleared,” he said.

Faculty members of AIIMS-Patna are happy with the initiatives being taken to make the cradle energy-sufficient.

Hailing the initiative at AIIMS facilities, Anil Kumar, assistant professor, general surgery department, said: “All hospitals should think about measures to make themselves energy-efficient. In foreign countries, such kind of energy-efficient hospitals are not new but in India, very few hospitals have opted these measures.”

Ashok Ghosh, the professor in-charge of the department of environment and water management of AN College and a noted environmentalist, was full of praise for the initiative.

Ghosh said: “What AIIMS-Patna is doing is the need of the hour. Initially, what we considered that water and other conventional forms of energy were there for us forever. However, that is not the case as proved through research. By depending on the alternative forms of conventional energy, two things would happen. There would be a decrease in the gap between demand and supply. Second, the pressure on the conventional forms of energy would also decrease.

“Yes, there are people who would say solar lights and water recycling plant would be a much costly affair. But in the long run, you would find that even if a good amount of money is spent on installing these alternative forms of conventional energy, it would be worth it, because in a way, it would help us to save our environment,” he added.