Chandigarh: As the UT administration extended its deadline to install solar plants till June 30, the Chandigarh Renewal Energy, Science and Technology Promotion Society (Crest) has now planned to spread awareness through different social media platforms to encourage residents to install solar panels.

A senior UT official said though they have been advertising in newspapers, holding awareness campaigns but now they are planning to spread awareness through different social media platforms. They want to reach out to every resident in the city for installation of solar panels, he added.

As per notification issued by the UT chief administrator Ajoy Kumar Sinha, “This shall be treated as last extension and no further extension shall be granted beyond June 30, 2019.”

Crest, the nodal agency for installation of solar plants in Chandigarh, had recently proposed to extend deadline to install solar plants by six months. Though the deadline for installing rooftop solar power plants at residential properties in Chandigarh expired on November 17, the Crest had decided to continue accepting applications.

The administration, in a notification issued on May 18, 2016, had made installation of rooftop solar power plants mandatory in residential houses measuring 500 square yards and above and group housing societies. There are around 10,000 such houses in different parts of the city, including sectors 8 (417 houses), 11 (493 houses), 33 (643 houses), 35 (419 houses) and 36 (417 houses).

Till date, only 50% of the residential properties have installed solar plants. Earlier, the deadline was set for May 6 last year, but was later extended to November 17, 2018.

The ministry of new and renewable energy had enhanced the city’s solar power generation target from 50 megawatt (MW) to 69 MW, to be achieved by 2022, through net and gross metering. Local authorities are struggling to meet the target due to shortage of space in the city, which is spread in an area of just 114 sq km.

Crest has only managed to install a solar power plant with a capacity of 24MW in the past six years. It will have to ensure generation of 45MW within four years to meet the target under the model solar city project. Those who fail to install solar power plants despite directions of the UT administration, will be served notice by the UT estate office which is the custodian of all the buildings— both commercial and residential— in the city.


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