The state government of Odisha has been criticised by the Central government for poor implementation of Energy Conservation Act, 2001 that makes use of solar water heating systems in buildings mandatory in all states.
On April 1999, the Union ministry of Urban Development had asked all states to amend their building bylaws to accommodate mandatory use of solar water heating systems in “functional” buildings. The order is yet to be implemented, despite the Centre gave several reminders to the state government for the same, according to sources quoted by the Times of India newspaper.
“The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has sought compliance report of its instruction. We have urged the urban local bodies to incorporate the norm by amending the bylaws. The compliance report would be presented at a national-level workshop later this month in New Delhi,” senior housing and urban development officer Dilip Routray was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
The directorate of town planning will coordinate with the municipal corporations and municipalities in the state. “The building bylaw is being amended and would be completed soon. We will surely abide by the central directive,” Director of town planning, P K Patnaik said.
“Solar water heating system can help save electricity and other fossil fuels. It can also prevent load shedding during peak hours,” a letter to the principal secretary of Odisha housing and urban development department said.
The Centre has appointed two consultancies to help urban local bodies in implementing the Energy Conservation Act. The agencies will guide municipal corporations in modifying the model regulations and bylaws and would visit Odisha soon to organize workshops and sensitize stakeholders about the significance of solar energy.
Meanwhile, the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is in the process of implementing another project to develop Bhubaneswar as a solar city for promotion of renewable energy and its usage, sponsored by the Centre. Bhubaneswar is among 60 cities identified for the project in India at a cost of the Rs 37.37 lakh by the Union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE).
The city project aims at reducing at least 10 per cent of the projected demand of conventional energy through renewable energy installations and project would be implemented in buildings catergories such as residential apartments, commercial complexes, industries, individual houses, corporate establishments and government buildings.