Himachal to light up villages with solar energy

Himachal Pradesh will try to light up three non-electrified villages located in the deep forests of the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area, India's richest biodiversity spot in the western Himalayas, through solar energy, Power Minister Sujan Singh Pathania said here on Thursday.

PTI| Last Updated: Mar 19, 2015, 20:22 PM IST

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh will try to light up three non-electrified villages located in the deep forests of the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area, India's richest biodiversity spot in the western Himalayas, through solar energy, Power Minister Sujan Singh Pathania said here on Thursday.

"We are planning to install a solar energy plant of 50KV near the villages at an outlay of Rs.80 lakh," he informed the assembly during question hour.

Himachal Lokhit Party Member Maheshwar Singh said the work to bring electricity to the villages, which have 39 households, in Kullu district was stopped as permission to lay the cables from the wildlife sanctuary area was not granted.

He said installation of the solar energy plant would not be fruitful as the winters there are not always the sunniest.

The minister said permission for laying 19-km-long power transmission lines has not been received. "Even then, it will take more than two years to lay the lines."

The World Heritage Committee included the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area in the World Heritage Natural Site List in June last year.

The national park, located some 250 km from here, is home to several rare and threatened species, including the western tragopan, chir pheasant, snow leopard, Himalayan musk deer, Asiatic black bear, Himalayan tahr, blue sheep and serow.