Governor shows the light

By Pujarini Sen
Published: Friday 31 October 2008

West Bengal buildings to go solar

KOLKATA's green drive takes a significant turn, with West Bengal's first citizen Gopalkrishna Gandhi taking concrete steps towards installing a solar power plant in Raj Bhavan. The project, being implemented by West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation (wbgedc), will meet 30 per cent of the massive, yet elegant building's 400 kilowatt requirement.

The corporation says this is the first time a governor is taking such a step in Kolkata. "We plan to connect the solar plant to the city's main power grid and are hopeful of achieving power self-sufficiency (for the Governor's Palace)," says Gon Choudhury, managing director, wbgedc. The colonial building's ample terrace space will be used for fitting the solar panels. The work is likely to be completed in six months.

wbgedc is also working on setting up solar plants in other heritage buildings, including Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose's ancestral house at Falta.

Gandhi has been instrumental in installing the city's first rainwater harvesting system and two solar street lamps, according to Dhruva Dasu, the governor's secretary. That's not all. Since May the governor has been turning off power supply to the Raj Bhavan for two hours daily.

With growing pollution and power cuts, Kolkata has all the symptoms of a crowded metropolis. Hopefully, Gandhi's initiatives will encourage other institutions to opt for greener ways.

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