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Incentives to opt for harvesting solar energy  

RAJKOT: Determined to convert the city's energy source to solar energy, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) has declared various incentives to promote solar energy harvesting and creating awareness about the renewable energy. The city had earlier been selected to be developed as a solar city' by ministry of new and renewable energy, government of India.

According to officer on special duty, RMC, Alpna Mitra, the RMC is replacing the existing electric streetlights with solar streetlights. These LED-based solar streetlights save energy consumption. About 200 streetlights will be replaced. We are determined to make the city a solar city by various programmes. Efforts are on to create a model city in solar harvesting and renewable energy sector.

Among the already declared incentives was the rebate to be given to users of solar water heating system in residential and commercial buildings in the city. "A Rs 500 rebate in property tax (residential) per year will be given for five years to a house owner who will use solar water heating system and Rs 1,000 rebate will be given in property tax for commercial building users. We are hopeful that this move help us in people's participation in coming days,'' city mayor Sandhya Vyas said.

This apart, RMC is going to organise an international-level seminar on solar energy by the end of the year, where experts and practitioners of this energy will be invited to exchange ideas.

"Energy audits will also be conducted of government buildings, public sector buildings, water pumping and streetlighting in the city at regular interval. RMC will take necessary steps towards conservation of electricity. The time has come to go towards solar energy," said RMC commissioner Dinesh Brahmbhatt, adding, "We will achieve this by involving residents through various incentives to opt for harvesting solar energy and also dis-incentives for not following the rules. We are in the process to amend the building bye-laws for making the use of solar devices mandatory in certain building and drafting the energy efficient green buildings norm for the city."


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