Bhubaneswar, January 12: Schools and hostels being run by Odisha's Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes development department will soon be given solar power-based electricity supply.
Realising the difficulty in ensuring an uninterrupted electricity supply to schools and hostels located in the state's inaccessible areas, the Odisha government has decided to set up solar-panel based electricity facilities for them.
The SC and ST development department has asked the district welfare officers and integrated tribal development agencies (ITDAs) to identify high schools, Ashram schools and Sevashrams, located in most interior pockets of their districts, to set up facilities for solar-panel based power supply.
These schools are being run by the SC and ST development department. "A large number of residential schools run by this department are located in remote areas, which are facing acute shortage of electric supply," said SC/ST development department director R. Raghu Prasad.
"To overcome such difficulties, Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) is being requested to create solar power plants of required capacity for campus lighting, classroom and indoor lighting, hostel lighting etc. in the schools and hostel premises," he said in a letter to the concerned officials.
There are 1,670 residential schools with over 4,700 hostels functioning under the SC/ST development department. There are 450,000 students studying in these schools, of whom about 60 percent are girls, officials said.