India to Install 304,500 Solar Street Lights Under Second Phase of Atal Jyoti Yojna

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has received approval to launch phase II of Atal Jyoti Yojna (AJAY) during the financial year 2018-19 and 2019-20.

The ministry has also received ₹500 million (~$7.13 million) to meet the pending liabilities of phase I of the program. Under the phase II of AJAY, 304,500 solar street lights are expected to be installed in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, North Eastern states including Sikkim, Andaman & Nicobar, Lakshadweep, and parliamentary constituencies covering 48 aspirational districts.

The estimated cost per light is ₹25, 000 (~$356) and the MNRE will provide ₹5.71 billion (~$81.41 million), which is 75 percent of the total cost of solar street lights to be installed in phase II. The remaining 25 percent will come from Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) fund of respective constituencies. The Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) is the implementing agency for the phase II of the AJAY scheme.

The project needs to be implemented within one year from the date of notification.

The MNRE had launched the Atal Jyoti Yojna in 2016. By March 2018, 1.45 lakh solar street lights were installed in 96 parliamentary constituencies.

In June 2018, the Union Cabinet approved phase three of the Off-grid and Decentralized Solar PV Application Program. Under the program, a total of 3,00,000 solar street lights would be installed across the country and areas devoid of grid connectivity with no facility of street lighting solution would get precedence over other areas. The program also aims to distribute 25,00,000 solar study lamps in northeastern states and left wing extremism affected districts.

Earlier, Mercom reported that about 250.1 million smart and energy efficient LED bulbs were distributed under the Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) program by the government, as of July 12, 2017.

Nitin is a staff reporter at Mercomindia.com and writes on renewable energy and related sectors. Prior to Mercom, Nitin has worked for CNN IBN, India News, Agricultural Spectrum and Bureaucracy Today. He received his bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communication from Manipal Institute of Communication at Manipal University and Master’s degree in International Relations from Jindal School of International Affairs. More articles from Nitin Kabeer