Sunny jobs

Published: Saturday 15 May 1993

-- A pilot project to install energy-efficient, solar lanterns as an employment generation scheme in the northeastern states is to be implemented soon by the Department of Non-conventional Energy Sources (DNES), the Department of Science and Technology and the North-eastern Council. If the programme succeeds, installation will be expanded to a commercial basis.

Under the scheme, the government will supply four solar lanterns to each tribal youth, who will then rent them out in villages not yet electrified. Modules or panels of 30-35 watts will tap solar energy and convert it into electrical energy so that the solar lanterns are lit up by a power of 5-8 watts. At a rental rate of Rs 7-10 a day, each tribal youth can expect to earn upto Rs 1,000 per month.

About 100 persons from Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam are being trained in the use and maintenance of the solar lanterns, each of which "would save 100-150 litres of kerosene oil that would otherwise be used in a petromax," says DNES director E V R Sastry.

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