SHILLONG, Oct 21 - Meghalaya Government would be distributing solar lamps to school students in the hope that they would turn �Green ambassadors.�
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma informing about the decision said, initially class IX and X students have been chosen, to whom these solar lamps would be distributed for free.
�We hope that eventually these students would be Green ambassadors and would create awareness on the importance of Green energy,� Sangma said after chairing a Cabinet meeting here today.
In the first phase, 15,000-20,000 solar lamps would be distributed to the students. However, the Government has plans to scale up the scheme in the days to come. �We hope to cover all the school students,� Sangma said. The decision to give the solar lamps has also come in view of Meghalaya�s acute shortage of power supply, the Chief Minister added.
The State is facing acute shortage of power supply and everyday there is load-shedding for at least half an hour. Sangma said, over-reliance on hydel energy, which depends on the vagaries of nature, have added to the woes.
Power purchases from power generating companies have also come to a standstill due to non-payment of dues by the Meghalaya Energy Corporation Limited (MeCL). In all, MeCL owes Rs 457 crore to different private power generating companies and has applied for loan to clear the dues.
For the scheme, the State Government has tied up with the Meghalaya Non-Conventional and Rural Energy (MNCRE). Sangma further informed the Cabinet�s decision to change the name of MNCRE to Meghalaya New and Renewable Development Agency.