The journey to light from days of darkness, filled with doubts and despair, though has not been easy for many and several persons are still in the dark.
The Rajat Jubilee Island in Sunderbans, however, escaped the miseries of a massive power outage because of a local solar power unit installed at the village.
Energy experts recommend it is the right time to opt for alternative sources of energy such as solar, to prevent the state from delving into darkness in the near future after a cyclone.
The Amphan had gathered enough force before it hit the state, and left behind a trail of massive destruction that led to days of darkness in Kolkata, North and South 24 Paragans and in other districts of the state.
Protests and roadblocks mushroomed on highways and city streets, demanding restoration of electricity which in many areas took more than a week to return.
Blame game ensued concerning shouldering of responsibility for the miseries caused to the people in the dark times.
Energy experts such as Professor S.P Gon Chaudhuri of IIEST Shibpur, told The Statesman, “It is times like these that point out to the necessity of alternative sources of energy. We must realise West Bengal is a coastal state and due to climate change, we are awaiting more such impending cyclones. To avoid repetition of post-Amphan power miseries, state power department must realise the need for investment in solar energy.”
Citing an example, he said “The North and South 24 Parganas have taken a severe blow due to the cyclone. Several villages, especially in Sunderbans area witnessed a massive power outage. As part of a pilot project in the Rajat Jubilee Island in Sunderbans, I had taken the initiative to install a local solar power unit in 2011 in coordination with WWF. This helped the people of this island to cope with the power outage post-Amphan since it was the only island which had power due to the initiative.”
The professor explained, “There is a need to install local and housing solar units in urban areas too such as in North and South 24 Parganas district that has seen worst of damages. People having solar panels installed at their rooftops, too escaped the miseries of living without electricity for a prolonged period of time.”
He added, “A new initiative is being taken in Mousuni Island in South 24 Parganas relating to alternative sources of energy that helps in sustainable development. The plan for the same has been sent to Centre for approval.”