Successful installation of solar mini grids in three villages has prompted electricity-starved Nagaland to set up similar solar grids to light up 1,000 villages.
Smart Power India (SPI), a subsidiary of Rockefeller Foundation in association with the Nagaland government, GIZ, Mithun Rural Development Foundation (MRDF), and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) has taken up a project to set up solar mini-grids in 1,000 villages not only to light up houses but to help villagers in their livelihood activities.
Vijay Bhaskar of MRDF, an NGO said that the pilot project in Mon helped farmers to take up biofloc and fish farming. “We aimed to provide training and enable the youth of the community to set up micro-enterprises and encourage reverse migration leading to an economic boost. We will support more beneficiaries in Nagaland by installing solar power in 1,000 villages.”
The objective of this programme is to supplement and strengthen the supply of electricity in remote villages to enable microenterprises to thrive, new businesses to be set up, improve public infrastructure (streetlights, schools and health centres), trigger economic growth and increase personal incomes in the villages, he said in a meeting recently in Dimapur.
Mon Deputy Commissioner Ajit Kumar Verma said electricity is available 24×7 in the three villages and is used to power livelihoods (streetlights, health centres, schools and homes.) “In the last nine months, over 70 new micro-businesses based on agri-processing, non-timber forest produce processing, biofloc fisheries, livestock feed, carpentry, metal works and handicrafts have been incubated.”
Installation of the solar mini grid aims to give a push to life and livelihoods in Nagaland, a state facing acute shortage of electricity. Nagaland Governor Jagdish Mukhi on October 9 said the state’s development was not picking up as Nagaland generates only 9MW electricity against peak hour demand of 115MW.