A joint meeting was called by the Sarpanchs, local opinion leaders and villagers to decide upon the location finalization. After signing by the local villagers, requests with the list of locations were then given to the Tata Steel’s team for execution.
Urja Samittees comprising local villagers have been formed in each of these villages. These samittes (Committees) are responsible for the maintenance of the solar lights in their respective villages. The samitte members are given know-how on the technicalities of the street lights by Tata Power Solar System technicians from whom these solar lights are procured.
Speaking on the initiative, Sushanta Mishra Chief, Tata Steel (Gopalpur Project) said, “Tata Steel is committed to the welfare of its communities and shall continue its efforts towards the overall development of the people residing in the peripheral villages. We at Tata Steel encourage the use of renewable energy towards achieving a greener environment. The solar lights installed in the rehab colony and the peripheral villages will play an important role in revitalizing the area. We are very proud that we are able to stand by our commitment to both the society and the environment.”
Elaborating the motive behind promoting the use of solar power, Mishra adds, “If scarcity of electricity at Ganjam is one reason, the bigger reason was one wherein we have thought of making our project area a renewable energy hub. Tata Steel has always taken the lead in various life changing initiatives in Ganjam; be it the Life Line Express, Mobile Medical Units covering 29 peripheral villages, or the lift irrigation projects in the area”.
Though all the villages are electrified but all the street and common places remain un-illuminated during the night. Common area lighting was one of the needs identified and based on the requests from the community, Sarpanchs and village opinion leaders, the solar street light project for common area lighting was planned and executed by Tata Steel through its CSR wing, TSRDS.
Expressing her happiness regarding the provision of solar lights to her village, K. Kameswari of Ragunathpur under Chatrapur block says, "Earlier, we had light only when the sun shone, now the sun shines in our village even at night".
In all, solar power lights not only save energy, but also are environment friendly, financially sound, economical and in general perspective; it has brought palpable changes in the lives of thousands of villagers residing in the peripheral villages of the proposed industrial park by Tata steel at Gopalpur.