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Solar lanterns to illuminate northeast rural homes
Published on 12 Nov. 2009 12:14 AM IST
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Rural houses in Northeast, where power-lines have not yet reached, would soon be illuminated with specially designed solar lanterns. Noting that a lot of ‘kerosene’ is going into the rural areas of Northeast for illumination purpose, the IOC has rolled out plans to provide a more environment-friendly option to the rural households. “IOC is diversifying in meeting the need of the BPL people on almost a no-profit basis. Solar lanterns can serve these section of people as it gives a better option which is more environment-friendly,” IOC general manager (Northeast region) A Pradhan said. Solar LED lantern, is a portable lighting device, which is beneficial particularly in offering safe, eco-friendly and economic lighting and also eliminates the hazards like fires, burns, fumes, spills and explosions of conventionally fuelled lanterns. Pradhan said the Research and Development unit of the IOC located at Faridabad has short-listed three companies after evaluating the technical aspects of the lanterns manufactured by them. “We are negotiating with them and we hope to sign the MoU within a few days,” he said. Pradhan said the cost of the lanterns would range from Rs 2,200 to Rs 2,400 and will be made available in the rural IOC outlets. “We have asked for the list of non-electrified villages from all the Northeast States. Once we get them, we will plan out our distribution pattern,” he said. The IOC is also in the process of roping in micro- financing agencies to assist the people in getting loans on low rates to procure the lanterns. Besides, the IOC will also make provision to lend the high-efficiency solar LED lanterns on hire basis. “Those consumers who cannot buy a lantern can take it on hire from our outlets, and once the charge is finished, they can return it to the outlets,” Pradhan said. The lanterns, which can be recharged at the outlets, will also have provisions for charging mobile handsets.

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