The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 2 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Assam fails to utilise subsidy schemes

The dam site at Lower Subansiri. File picture

Jorhat, Jan. 1: The government is yet to utilise the benefits of a 90 per cent subsidy being given by the Union ministry of new and renewable energy sources for Jorhat and Guwahati till November.

The state is currently reeling under a power shortfall and the government is struggling to get the big dam constructed on the Subansiri river at Gerukhamukh to make up for this.

The first project plan sanctioned by the ministry was submitted by Hahapathi, an association comprising students of the batch of 1983 of the Jorhat Government Boys MP Higher Secondary school here.

The students had lit up the school’s façade with 14 solar lights and will install another five lights inside the principal’s room and common room.

The total project proposal was Rs 3 lakh, out of which the 100-odd students who were members of Hahapathi, had contributed Rs 30,000.

Diganta Buragohain, a member, said this was the first school in Assam to be lit up this way.

Rajesh Borah, an engineer of the Jorhat Municipal Board, said among the government agencies, it was the first to submit a proposal to the ministry to light up nine areas in the town in October under this energy-saving scheme.

Borah said he and representatives from Guwahati had attended a meeting held in November by the Centre’s ministry of new and renewable energy sources.

There, they had been told that there were almost no project proposals from Assam despite Guwahati and Jorhat being eligible for the scheme.

Borah said states like Gujarat and Maharashtra, which were being given 70 per cent subsidy, had submitted innumerable projects and Assam had been ticked off for not doing so.

“A lot of energy could have been saved in both these cities had a number of schemes been submitted for solar energy utilisation but may be because of less of publicity, hardly anybody knows about this subsidy,” he said.

Borah added that though the board had submitted the Rs 1.95-crore proposal to light up different areas like the Unnayan Market, Piyoli Market, New Market near the truck stand, Bisturam Barooah Hall, Tarajan crematorium, Bhogdoi crematorium and streetlights on AT Road near the Unnayan Market, the Assam Energy Development Agency, the state government’s nodal agency had submitted it to the ministry at the end of December.

Borah added that there was a problem with installing streetlights on all roads in as the battery was attached below the lights and could easily be stolen.

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