The Punjab Water Supply and Sanitation Department has set up the first-of-its-kind solar-based water supply projects at Jagrawan-Muradpur and Talwara villages of Jalandhar district under the ‘Har Ghar Paani, Har Ghar Safai’ mission.
The project aims to ensure an uninterrupted potable water supply in rural areas in the state.
The village panchayats (village councils) are relieved that electricity bills towards water supply have come down to zero. With the commissioning of these projects, 141 households of Jagrawan and Muradpur and 102 households of Talwara village have benefited.
According to an official spokesperson, besides installing 150-meter-deep tube-wells, 25000 liter- capacity water tanks have been constructed to provide piped water supply to every household in these villages.
The solar-based pilot projects were commissioned at the cost of ₹6.77 million (~$92,930.03). Now, these village panchayats are not paying any electricity bills for water supply projects. The money saved is being utilized for development works.
Razia Sultana, Water Supply and Sanitation Minister, said that the Punjab government was committed to providing potable piped water supply to every household in the rural areas. She said that a target had been set to complete all the ongoing water supply projects within a year to ensure 100% piped water supply in the state.
India has been promoting the use of solar energy to provide water security in rural areas through the Kisan Urja Suraksha evam Utthaan Mahabhiyan (KUSUM) program with central government support of ₹334.22 billion (~$4.69 billion). The program aims to add a solar capacity of 25,750 MW by 2022.
Last year, the Punjab Energy Development Agency (PEDA) had invited online applications from farmers and panchayats to install solar pumps for agricultural irrigation in the state. The solar pumps – both surface and submersible – would be in the capacities of 3, 5, 7.5, and 10 horsepower.
Rahul is a staff reporter at Mercom India. Before entering the world of renewables, Rahul was head of the Gujarat bureau for The Quint. He has also worked for DNA Ahmedabad and Ahmedabad Mirror. Hailing from a banking and finance background, Rahul has also worked for JP Morgan Chase and State Bank of India. More articles from Rahul Nair.