BHOPAL: Sanchi, home to the Stupa that has shown the light to the world for over 2,000 years, has become India’s first ‘solar city’.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan formally launched it on Wednesday and said: “By turning into the country’s first solar city, this historic place has shown the way to the world, the same way as Lord Buddha once did.” The entire solar project in Sanchi will reduce 14,324 tonnes CO2 less per year, the CM said, calling for bringing down the consumption of conventional energy to net zero – making it fully dependent on renewable energy.
5MW plant for agri use being built
A 3 MW solar plant, which is for the city’s needs, is fully operational and another plant of 5 MW capacity – to meet agriculture-related requirements – is being built. The 3 MW plant has been built close to the Unesco World Heritage site on a 5-hectare land.
Once completed, Sanchi will produce more energy than it consumes.
“We are building several solar plants in the state, including one on the dam water in Omkareshwar to produce 600 MW electricity,” Chouhan said. “When development happens, power demand goes up but we will arrange power from green sources, not thermal plants as it damages the environment,” he added.
As a green plus in Sanchi, energy-efficient devices, e-charging stations, solar streetlights, and solar water pumps for the civic body have been developed. Farmers will get help in setting up solar pumps, said the CM.
Every household will be provided with low-energy-consumption fans, bar lights and LEDs. Around 2,000 students will be provided with solar lights, and street vendors will be given solar lanterns. All this equipment has already been procured under CSR funds, said sources.
Energy equivalent to the total consumption of the town will be generated using sunlight and it will be supplied into the grid.
The inauguration of the solar city was earlier scheduled for May 3, got rescheduled to August 17 and then to September 6, closer to the assembly elections.

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