Noamundi Village comes under Noamundi Iron Mine of Tata Steel in Jharkhand. For the last 3 years Noamundi Iron Mine is installing solar lights in roads, public places, in its residential colony and spreading its wing of solar power towards the nearby villages too. Now seven villages under Noamundi block have been covered under this use of alternate source of energy scheme. Silent revolution of encouraging the use of solar energy in Noamundi Iron Mine of Tata Steel in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, has not only made this mine a unique place in this mining hub but also illuminated the lives of thousands of villagers. Enjoy the special report on World Environment Day 2012.
INDIACSR News Network
JAMSHEDPUR: In the face of continued shrinkage in the fossil fuel stock and other renewable sources of energy, it may be interesting to note that out of 174 peta watts (PW) of incoming solar radiation at the upper atmosphere approximately 30% is reflected back to the space while the rest is absorbed by clouds, oceans and land masses. Across the world, both government and non-government organization are continuing with their crusade against too much use of non-renewable sources of energy, urging for their conservation for the coming generations and also ecological preservation.
On the other hand around 30-45% loss of electrical power during distribution and transmission in a country like India is a cause of serious concern where electricity is yet to reach the far parts of the country. In this canvas, the silent revolution of encouraging the use of solar energy in Noamundi Iron Mine of Tata Steel in West Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, has not only made this mine a unique place in this mining hub but also illuminated the lives of thousands of villagers.
For the last 3 years Noamundi Iron Mine is installing solar lights in roads, public places, in its residential colony and spreading its wing of solar power towards the nearby villages too. Now seven villages under Noamundi block have been covered under this use of alternate source of energy scheme. Surndra Balmuchu, a teacher in a village school residing in Barbura tola of Tontoposi village says,” the spell of darkness in the villagers’ life has been removed by Tata Steel Rural Development Society (TSRDS)”, the NGO arm of Tata Steel spearheading the project along with Project & Engineering Cell of Tata Steel’s Mines Division. Surendra further elaborated that, while conventional electricity is yet to reach the village, the solar light posts in the village have became the hot spot for children to pursue their studies under the cool shade in this scorching summer.
Elaborating the motive behind promoting the use of solar power, Mr DB Sundara Ramam, GM (OMQ) says that if scarcity of electricity at Noamundi is one reason, the bigger reason was one wherein we have thought of making our mining zone a renewable energy hub. He continued to add that Noamundi always took the lead in various environmental promotion initiatives-be it country’s first slime dam at Noamundi in early 60s’, restoration through plantation of more than 19 lakhs saplings in 363 hectares of land in Hill No1 & 2 during 80s’, turning 45 acres of barren mined out land into a green buffer zone named Sir Dorabji Tata Botanical Park in 90s’ and recently installed rain water harvesting parks in 2010-12.
The statement of the general manager is equally backed by some first hand facts. Take for example the solar power geyser in the Subernarekha Guest House at Noamundi. This guest house has 32 rooms which usually require 32 geysers. Instead, two solar powered geysers installed in this guest house accrue savings of 69120 KWH per annum and a financial saving of Rs.517995 per annum. Interestingly the social effect of the solar power in villages around Noamundi is best summed up by octogenarian villager Manglu Bobonga. Bobonga says that the solar lights installed in different tolas’ in his village Uisia, became a social security for women folk and labourers. They now venture out in the night to fetch water from the community tube-well otherwise a risky step.
Labourers working outside are coming back to the village late in the evening and their travel by road is made safe and comfortable by the illumination of the solar powered street lights. In villages around Noamundi altogether 126 solar lights have been installed. Head (Engineering Services) Mr Saroj Banerjee, under whom the solar power project is being executed, exudes confidence that the conventional lights may be replaced in near future all across the world by alternate energy sources. To quote Mr Banerjee,“each 250 watt Sodium Vapour light has been replaced by 36 watt Solar powered light in Noamundi town and we’ve put up 42 such solar lights within Noamundi township itself which resulted in an estimated savings of Rs.1.92 lakhs per annum. One can easily sum up the expected notional savings from 126 solar lights put up in seven villages around Noamundi.
In all, solar power lights not only save energy, but also are environment friendly, financially sound, economical and in Noamundi’s perspective, it has brought palpable changes in the lives of hundreds of villagers.