Raj Bhavan Kolkata turning green

Monday, December 7, 2009

KOLKATA - On a day world leaders began discussing climate changes in Copenhagen, the Governor’s House here became the country’s first Raj Bhavan to launch a solar power project for supplying energy to the building.

President Pratibha Patil Monday launched the project by switching on 12 solar energy operated Light Emitting Diodes (LED) fixtures on the northern side of the Raj Bhavan.

The Rs.1 crore project envisages building a 50 KW grid interactive Solar PV power station in Raj Bhavan along with a 2,000 Ltrs. Solar Water Heating System and use of LEDs.

Entirely funded by the ministry of New and Renewable Energy Sources, the project is set to be completed by March next year.

The 206-year-old magnificent edifice with its sprawling lawns looked majestic in the LED lights, as a choir sang songs of Rabindranath Tagore suiting the occasion.

Later, New and Renewable Energy Sources minister Farooq Abdullah said that his ministry has set aside Rs.1 crore for each of the Raj Bhavans in the country to implement similar solar projects.

Abdullah thanked Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi for pioneering the Raj Bhavan scheme.

Abdullah said there were plans to include heritage sites like the Victoria Memorial here and famed and old temples located in various parts of the country in a bid to popularise renewable energy.

The Raj Bhavan, Kolkata, used to be the seat of British imperial power as the residence of the Governor General of India from 1804-1912, when the capital was shifted to New Delhi.

The proposed solar power plant will cater to 30 percent of the energy needs of the Raj Bhavan, and reduce the energy output by almost half.

“Once the project is complete, the Raj Bahvan can save on an average Rs.5 lakh annually on electricity bills. Also, coal consumption will be reduced by 600 kgs a day,” said project executor West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation managing director S.P. Gon Chaudhuri.

Filed under: Environment

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