Vijayawada: Plans of Goddess Durga temple authorities to establish a renewable energy solar power project to conserve power and the cost of its purchase have been hit due to paucity of funds. The temple board proposed and took a decision in 2017 to establish a 1 MW solar power plant at Patapadu village near Vijayawada city where the temple has its own site. Due to lack of funds, the proposals have not yet moved forward.
Every year, the temple authorities are paying nearly Rs 80 lakh to APSPDCL for the usage of power. Hence, the temple board decided to establish the solar power project with the support of the New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of AP with an estimated budget of around Rs 5 crore.
With all the subsidies from NREDCAP, the temple has to pay an amount of Rs 4,74,95,040. NREDCAP has also allocated the installation of 1 MW solar power project works to Sun Technologies.
With this project, 2.5 lakh units will be produced per annum and the temple board has decided to sell the excess electricity, after the consumption of the temple, at an estimate of around Rs13.70 lakh units per annum. If this project is completed, the temple would get Rs13 lakh to Rs15 lakh income with the sale of electricity to the grid.
According to the commitment, Sun Technologies has to complete the works in a year’s time and maintain the project up to 10 years, from the beginning of production.
The temple EO noticed the delay in the works which were not begun till June 2018 and issued a notice to the contractor.
Later, the same works were hit due to a Vigilance inquiry, with allegations of illegalities in allocation of works to the contractor. Even now, the contractor has not yet begun installation works on the allocated site.
Paucity of funds is a major hurdle to the temple for the installation of the solar project. Due to all these issues, the officials have kept the major need of the temple at a distance.
Speaking to this corespondent, temple executive officer V. Koteswaramma said: “There is indeed a delay in the installation. We received the clearance letter recently from the Vigilance department and ordered to release the first phase of the amount to the contractor, which is about Rs 30 lakh.”
The EO said that they had planned to release the funds in a phased manner as the funds are less, but the need of the solar project is more. She assured that the works will be begun soon....