Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Solar power for Central Prison

Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan will inaugurate a solar-energy project and a new restroom for visitors at the Central Jail, Poojappura, here on Wednesday.
A press release issued here on Tuesday said the solar energy scheme would make the department the first one in the country to depend entirely on this clean and renewable source of energy.
The 13th Finance Commission had allotted Rs.154 crore for the modernisation of prisons in the State. Of this, Rs.14.79 crore had been set aside for development programmes at the Central Jail, Poojappura.
The shift to solar energy would be undertaken in jails across the State and Rs.25.56 crore had been earmarked for this. The solar energy scheme at the Poojappura jail had been set up at a cost of Rs.7.9 crore.
Street lighting inside the compound, lighting and fans for blocks one to 12, steam cooking, water heating chappathi-making, and water pumping would be powered by solar energy. Around 229 KW of power would be generated, the release said.
This scheme would be a relief to the department which was charged Rs.1.27 crore by the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) last year.
With the hike in rates, this figure was estimated to touch Rs.2 crore.
In addition, most number of jail escapes occurred during power cuts, and with the transition to solar energy, this problem could be eliminated by ensuring 24-hour power supply and a 12-hour back-up.
The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy would provide 30 per cent subsidy on the implementation cost and as much subsidy would be provided by the Agency for Non-Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT), the release said.
The Public Works Department (PWD) had constructed a new restroom on the prison premises for visitors of inmates.
More parking spaces would also be earmarked on the premises, especially for families which visit from afar.

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