Odisha hospital to go solar

Koraput: In a bid to meet energy needs from non-conventional sources, Koraput district administration in Odisha is set to install rooftop solar photo voltaic cells at the district headquarters hospital here.

Though the new solar energy system will not be able to fully meet the power requirement of the headquarters hospital, it will lessen dependence on hydropower, officials said.

"Initially, all works at the maternity ward will be carried out using solar power. Water heating and lighting at the ward will be done with the help of solar power and there will be zero dependence on grid for power to this ward," said Koraput district collector Sachin Jadhav.

The administration has roped in a private agency to install the solar photovoltaic cells at an estimated cost of Rs 14,26 lakh. The finances will be met from the District Innovation Fund and the work is expected to start in the next few weeks.

Highlighting the benefits of solar power compared to hydropower, officials said solar consumes no fuel and there is no running cost. While little maintenance is required, there will be economic gain in the long-run.

"The solar power system is being installed on an experimental basis and if it works, more wards of the hospital could be covered under the project," the collector said.

Meanwhile, sources said hospitals in rural areas and without power supply should make use of solar power. "Power supply is erratic in rural areas and most hospitals in remote places are without electricity. Without proper healthcare facilities, rural masses are left to fend for themselves and most often they go to quacks for healthcare needs.

"So on a priority basis some of the hospitals situated in remote areas should be covered under solar power system for the benefit of the patients", said Bhabani Mishra, a Koraput-based activist.