SUBJECT :Solar Energy 

 In a step towards making Chandigarh a model solar city, the Administration is all set to issue a notification soon to  make rooftop solar photovoltaic power plants mandatory for all buildings in the city. 

Sources said UT Administrator Kaptan Singh  Solanki had approved amendments to the building  bylaws for the purpose and these had been  sent to  the Legal Department  for vetting  before issuing a notification.

The new amendments  will cover all types of buildings,  including residential,  commercial, government and semi-government establishments and those belonging to institutional bodies. All new housing complexes and housing societies will also be covered under the   new regulation.  

The sources said under the  proposal, while installing solar  plants would be mandatory in new buildings, two years would be given to the  owners  of existing  buildings for  making the  provision.

According to the proposal, residential buildings on area less  than 100 sq yards will be  exempted from the provision. After the notification, no approval will be  required  from the  Chandigarh Municipal Corporation or the Estate Office for  the installation of a solar power panel.   

The height of the module structure carrying solar panels shall not be counted towards the total height of the building as permitted under the building bylaws, except near the airport where building regulations issued by the Airports Authority of India take precedence. 

 The sources said though Chandigarh was declared a model solar city five  years  ago, residents were not showing much interest in offering the rooftops of their houses for installation of solar energy panels. Despite  the   concession, people were still skeptical about its  use.

The department has  installed solar power plants  at various government  buildings,  including the jail,  schools and community centres which are saving on their electricity bills.

Sources  said the  step  had been taken on the directions of  UT Adviser Parimal Rai,  who  had asked the  department to speed up the process  for turning Chandigarh into a model solar city after he  was given a presentation. 

Source: The Tribune