Solar power changing rural lifestyle

http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/more.php?news_id=135230&date=2011-05-10

Solar power changing rural lifestyle
Our Correspondent

RANGPUR, May 9: Introduction of solar power in the rural areas of Rangpur, Kurigram and Lalmonirhat districts has ushered in a new hope for the people as electricity supply is not adequate in the areas.

As the Rural Electrification Board cannot supply electricity to the ‘Char’ areas, which are cut off from the mainland by different channels, people of the areas have become interested in using solar power.

About 5,000 solar power units have brought about a revolutionary change in the lifestyle and economy of more than 30,000 people of 300 inaccessible char villages of the districts villagers and NGO officials said.

According to sources several NGOs including RDRS, BRAC, Grameen Shakti, Protyasha and Aspect with the help of Infrastructure Development Company Ltd. (IDCL) have so far set up the solar power units at a cost of Tk. 15000 to 40,000 per unit on cash payment or on down payment.

They provided necessary equipment and technical assistance for solar power generation.

The people of Char Nazirdah, Pallimari, Chatra, Morneya, Majirah in Kounia Upazilas under Rangpur district said they have changed their life style by using solar power.
People of Hatia, Bazar, Baraburi, Gunaigachh, Char Santosbiram and Kamar Damarhat Char villages in Ulipur Upazila under Kurigram district are now using 100 solar units provided by BRAC and other NGOs on easy installments.

Char people of 50 more villages under Sadar, Aditmari, Kaligonj and Hatibandha Upazilas of Lalmonirhat district have also changed their lifestyle through utilising the facilities of solar power plants in groups from Protyasha, BRAC and Aspect.

Many solar power users expressed their satisfaction over the continuous supply of power by using solar technology. Some said sellers usually give them 15 years’ guarantee.

Other users said the village people who earlier did not have a single roads for plying a rickshaw are now regularly enjoying Television programmes with the help of solar power.

Local people said the demand for solar power is increasing at adjacent char villages and called for setting up of higher capacity solar power units.

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