Community Solar Water Plant: Kolkata

To address the issues of safe drinking water and sanitation, the South Asian Forum for Environment (SAFE) in consultation with Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has developed an integrated model of water and sanitation at the Kalikapur slum in ward number 108 and 109.

The project consists of a Solar Water Treatment Plant (SWTP), operating on reverse osmosis (RO) system that produces clean drinking water. The water is stored and the beneficiaries use water ATM card to collect it. The waste water is used for sanitation purposes in 20 bio-toilet units constructed with bio-digesters to turn excreta into organic manure. There is a community kitchen unit using the bio-gas, produced out of bio-digesters, for cooking mid-day meals for an Anganwadi school in the slum and also for community functions. The facility not only runs on renewable energy, it generates surplus power too thereby creating carbon offsets.

This NGO along with Bidhannagar Municipality and KMC has also taken an initiative named “Resolve: Trash-2-Cash”, for recycling waste to make useful products while engaging poor women and unemployed youth for their livelihood and socio-economic development. This initiative has improved economic opportunities for informal women waste scavengers through production and sale of various recycled utility products like baskets, pen holders, photo stands etc. It has helped to reduce their health risks from working with waste and reduced the stress on landfill. The intervention reduces emission footprints through resource recycling.

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Renewable Energy to Save Money: Thane

Thane in Maharashtra developed a city level emissions inventory in 2008. Based on that, Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) took steps to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy to reduce their carbon footprint, using municipal funds and other national government funding.

In 2009, the municipal corporation renovated its bio-methanation plant in Kalwa Hospital, to generate energy saving about Rs. 9 lakhs annually. In 2010- 11, it installed solar photovoltaic system in the main administrative building to generate power. Solar water heaters were also installed in municipal buildings and buildings for urban poor constructed under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The municipality also replaced streetlights with LED lights reducing energy consumption and energy bills. Thane has also developed a Solar City Master Plan to reduce emissions.

This initiative is being scaled up in Bhubaneswar and is also being replicated in other cities of Odisha such as Cuttack, Rourkela, Puri and Konark.

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Solar Powered Community Spaces: Kolkata

The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has developed its first solar powered bus shelter in Golf Green area.

The bus shelter has six solar panels on the roof which generate electricity to light up the shelter and also provide power to a mobile phone charging point. The bus shelter is decorated with traditional art of Bengal. The adjoining area of the bus shelter is painted and decorated by children from a home for underprivileged kids. This area is now used for cultural events.

KMC has also installed India’s first battery-less solar powered street lighting system at Deshapriya Park. Each of the fifty solar electric posts are fitted with 180-watt LED based panel is equivalent of 400 watts of sodium vapour electricity. The solar panels will help generate electricity throughout the day and the generated power will be fed into the grid.

Both these initiatives will result in reduction of carbon emissions by using renewable form of energy and also in saving money spent on electricity bills by a municipality.

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Grid-connected Rooftop Solar Power for Apartments: Kolkata

SIRSA, a 10-storied residential apartment for officials of the Central Glass & Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI) beside Rabindra Sarovar, Kolkata, is aspiring to be self-reliant in power requirement.

The SIRSA complex has residential flats, lifts, filtered water supply, power backup and a guest house with an average energy bill of Rs 1.60 lakh, of which 55% is paid by residents as per metered consumption. SIRSA commissioned solar panels with subsidy from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), Government of India. The generation system is connected to the grid to sell the surplus power to the local distribution company through a power purchase agreement. The residents also adopted energy efficient lighting system, pumps, lifts and other machineries to reduce consumption. The initiative has saved Rs. 2.33 lakh in 7 months for the residents, 52 tonnes of carbon emissions and 284 kilo litres of water. It is expected that once West Bengal adopts a rooftop solar policy for the city, the Councillors can encourage the development of similar initiatives in existing and new constructions in their wards.

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Solar Illumination for School: Karnataka

The Neelbagh School located near Manadpally in Karnataka is a free, residential, not-for-profit school with a 100 residential students and about 150 day scholars. There are 15 resident staffs in the school. It was initially connected to the grid and incurred Rs. 3000 per month as electricity costs apart from costs of a diesel generator for backup. The insufficient power supply even with the back-up created disruption of classes to operate the generator and disturbed the students with the noise and voltage fluctuations. In 2010, solar panels with LED lights were installed to provide power with 4 to12 hours usage with 3 days’ of power backup facility. This has not only resulted in substantial reduction of electricity bills but also eliminated generator usage, reducing costs and emissions from diesel, and provided reliable bright light for students to study at their convenience.