Solar power brings social change in Rajshahi char villagers


RAJSHAHI, Sept 3, 2018 (BSS)- Solar power has brought a social change in many hard-to-reach villages under Char Ashariadaha Union Parishad (UP) in Godagari Upazila of the district.

Although having the problems of food and healthcare services the villages have become enlightened with uninterrupted electricity generated from solar panel. The power also brings many positive changes to living and livelihood condition of the villagers in many ways.

Talking to BSS, solar power user Rahmat Ali of Char Bhubanppara said he could not even think about electricity an era ago though it has become a reality as the villagers there can avail of this facility.

UP Chairman Md Sanaullah told BSS that around 30,000 people live in the villages and 13,000 of them in six villages got the power supply connections. The beneficiary villages are: Ashariadaha, Panipar, Bhubanpara, Kanpara, Hanumantanagar and Nawshera.

He said the char villagers and owners of the solar power units neither suffer from low-voltage nor load shedding and some of them are crushing paddy at nights using electricity from solar plants.

“The char people are watching television programmes to become aware of drugs, child marriage, malnutrition and dowry and using fans, bulbs and refrigerators, charging mobile phone sets, operating computers and doing other daily jobs,” Sanaullah added. Housewives Monwara Begum of village Char Nawshera and Anjuara Khaatun of Char Hanumantanagar said they are getting uninterrupted supply of power using solar technology.

AVA Mini Grid Project commissioned 594 pieces of solar panels with financial initiative of Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) providing power supply to six villages, scattered from the main land by the Padma River.

“We have started the solar panel and supply line installation works with an estimated cost of around Taka 10 crore on November 6, 2015,” said Engineer Millat Hossain, Plant Manager of the project. At present, the panels are generating 148.5 kilowatts electricity and the villages are getting power through the distribution line.

Engineer Hossain said the villagers are enjoying the power supply facilities through prepaid card system and all them are happy. UP chairman Sanaullah said IDCOL has brought solar home systems to his villagers.

The small solar panels provide enough electricity to charge a phone, run a fan, turn on a light or a TV for the evening hours. Often, in fact, these solar panels perform better than the country’s electric grid, despite their shortcomings.

He added that the ability of households to earn an income from their solar systems through the nanogrid opens up innovative business possibilities.

For instance, households could reinvest their profits from solar energy trading to upgrade their solar technology to generate even more electricity and thus, profit.

Overnight, simple solar users are turned into smart entrepreneurs earning money real-time once their solar systems start producing a surplus of solar electricity.