Rural India: A Karnataka village's 'solar' transformation from naxal-hit region

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With just 1,872 houses a quiet village in Karnataka's Udupi district is creating waves. Amasebail, a once Naxal-affected region is today India's pride in solar sufficiency. The small village is today 100 per cent solar-powered, creating a revolution of sorts in using alternate energy.

Amasebail was far from development thanks to the constant Naxal menace. In 2017, it was declared as the first village in the country to become fully solar-powered. As many as 1,497 houses are now self-sufficient with solar power. Every household is equipped with solar panels. The achievement was possible at a cost of Rs 2.13 crore. Rs 1.39 crore was provided by the government while the rest was collected as donations and funds.

Rural India: A Karnataka village's 'solar' transformation from naxal-hit region

The project was conceptualised five years ago and today the village produces 60 units of solar power per day.

The solar products have been given a five-year guarantee and six-month service warranty. While 1,000 houses were provided four solar lamps, 497 houses were given two solar lamps. The remaining 375 houses already had solar lamps owing to previous schemes. The cost of installing two solar lamps was Rs 9,900, while it was Rs 16,000 for four lamps.

Apart from the efforts of the government, it took people's will to achieve this milestone. The villages, despite being marred by under development for years, were willing to shell out money to set an example. Each household had to pay Rs 3,000 for two lamps. People from the Koraga community the gram panchayat gave out subsidies of Rs 3,000 per beneficiary. The total cost of installing solar lamps in these 1,497 houses was Rs 2.13 crore.

The SELCO Solar Light Private Ltd was selected through e-Tender to carry out installations of solar lamps. The same was completed in three phases. Now the village is all bright and so is the lives of its people. Amasebail has set gold standards in solar-powered community living.

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