A solar dome with around 2,000 panels and capable of generating more than 180kilo watts of electricity has been set up in New Town’s Eco Park.
The dome will not only power street lights of a section of the 480-acre park but will also have a planetarium, marine aquarium and a space to host shows using varied mediums such as lasers and projection systems. The three-storey structure is around 27m high and has a diameter of 46m.
The dome is part of a joint initiative undertaken by Hidco and the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL) to promote the usage of renewable sources of energy.
According to a senior Hidco official, the dome will serve a dual purpose that will allow people from all walks of life, including students to understand how photovoltaic cells — that comprise solar panels work — as well as double up as a centre where exhibits can be kept.
The dome has a spiral staircase that will lead to a viewing deck that offers a panoramic view of the Eco Park. The ground floor of the dome is now open for public viewing Visitors to Eco Park can enter free of charge.
“We are trying to have as much green energy sources here in New Town as possible. And this is another one of our initiatives. We already have two canal top solar power plants that are fully functional in New Town,” said Debashis Sen the managing director of Hidco.
Like Eco Park, the solar dome will be shut for visitors every Monday and it can be accessed through gate number 4of the park.
Wider aid option for widows in West Bengal
The state cabinet on Wednesday approved a proposal to allow widows to apply for both widow pension and Lakshmir Bhandar benefits. The move is considered to be significant as beneficiaries of Lakshmir Bhandar were so far not allowed to avail of any other pension or other direct benefit schemes.
“The chief minister took a humanitarian decision to help nearly 25 lakh widows who get pension,” said a minister. The state cabinet has also decided to give compensation to landowners in case high-tension power lines pass over their plots. (Our Special Correspondent)