'Approval given to 54 cities to be developed as solar cities'



`Approval given to 54 cities to be developed as solar cities` New Delhi: Government has given approval for 54 cities to be developed as solar-powered cities and sanctions have been granted to 39 such cities, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

In written reply to a question, New and Renewable Energy Minister Farooq Abdullah said, "In-principal approval has been given to 54 cities to be developed as solar cities in the country."

Out of these 54 cities, sanctions have been given to 39 cities which have engaged consultants for preparation of their Master Plan, he said, adding that the plans for seven of these cities have been approved so far.

The cities for which the Master Plan has been approved are Chandigarh, Thane, Kalyan-Dombiwali, Aizwal, Kohima, Agra and Moradabad.

The Ministry also told the House that the first phase of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is scheduled to be completed by 2013.

Replying to a question on subsidy for installation of solar appliances, Farooq said, "Government is providing central financial assistance (CFA) of 30 per cent of the cost of installation of solar photo-voltaic systems such as solar lanterns, home lights and street lights."

In reply to a question on budgetary allocation for the Ministry, Abdullah said, "The allocation for the Ministry has been increased from Rs 628 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 1,200 crore in 2011-12."

PTI