Solar policy amended to ensure power to locals

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The state Cabinet on Tuesday approved the implementation of solar power projects under distributed-generation approach wherein electricity generated will be supplied to the local community.

Law Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters after the Cabinet meeting that the move will help cope with the problem of peak-hour demand. Besides, generation of only up to 200 Mega Watt of solar power will be allowed in each taluk, excluding projects implemented on solar rooftops. These are some of the amendments brought into the Solar Policy 2014-21.

The Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, gave its approval to amendments proposed to the policy. Permission will be accorded on first-come-first-served basis. This has been done to ensure that solar power is generated across all taluks of the state, the minister said.

He said solar power projects are now concentrated in only the few districts of Tumakuru, Kolar and Chitradurga in the absence of any restriction. The government wants the projects to come up in all taluks. Hence, the restriction has been imposed. The amended policy has also enhanced the target to generate solar power by 2021 to 6,000 MW from 2,000 MW, he added.

Land bank dropped

The amended policy has dropped a provision to create a private land bank. The government had last year done away with a land bank scheme aimed at wooing investors to set up industries. Similarly, provisions to promote distributed generation by land-owning farmers and bringing various categories of consumers under the solar purchase obligation have been dropped.

Jayachandra further said the Cabinet has made it mandatory for all departments that take up road development work to set aside 1% of the total project cost for road-side plantation programme. The Cabinet approved a proposal to purchase 133 mini buses under the Centre’s Amrut scheme. The buses will be used for providing public transport in Mysuru, Mandya, Udupi, Davangere, Tumakuru, KGF, Kolar, Hassan, Shivamogga and Mangaluru.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to dismiss from service Dr R S Shankarappa, a government medical officer of Somwarpet in Kodagu district, in connection with a Lokayukta trap case. He was charged with taking a bribe of Rs 100, the minister added.

 

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