By: Mohan Lal Verma
Himachal Pradesh will try to light up three non-electrified villages located in the deep forests of the Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area, India’s richest biodiversity spot in the western Himalayas, through solar. The news was confirmed today by Sujan Singh Pathania, the Power Minister.
He also said “we are planning to install a solar energy plant of 50KV near these villages with an outlay of Rupees 80 lakh”.
Member Maheshwar Singh said the work to connect these villages, which has 39 households, in Kullu district where electricity was stopped as the permission to lay the wires from the wildlife sanctuary area was not granted. He said installation of the solar energy plant would not be fruitful as winters there are not always sunny.
The minister said permission for laying 19-k-long power transmission lines under the Forest Conservation Act has not been received and it will take more than two years to lay the lines.
The World Heritage Committee in June last year included Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area in the World Heritage Natural Sites list.
The national park, which is located at some 250 km from here, is home to several rare and threatened species, including the western tragopan, chir pheasant, snow leopard, himalayan musk deer, asiatic black bear, himalayan tahr, blue sheep and serow. Some 25 threatened International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red-listed plant species are also recorded in the park.