‘500MW solar electric power by 2013’
This provocative header of a news report was published on March 14 in a local English-language daily. It is frankly unbelievable. It appears to be a pie in the sky. In reality, there will be many a slip between the cup and the lip, as the popular saying goes. To begin with, it was stated in the report that the government was ‘contemplating’ while the Power Division pundits said the government was mulling over involvement of the private sector. Between the contemplating and mulling, and the many pitfalls from ideas to orders in the very slow bureaucratic steps up the ladder, and complete implementation, time will surely run out.
From Match 2012 to December 2013, we have just 22 months left. Can the government, or even the private sector, overcome all the procedural hurdles to complete this very major undertaking? It includes solar mini-grids, solar irrigation units, solar parks and also solar roof-top installations. In reality, quite a large cup of tea and relatively a very compressed timeframe.
It will be lucky if all paperwork, approvals and permissions relating to this work are completed before the end of the calendar year 2012. Even that will be a miracle. The time-span of 22 months, from starting of 'mulling’ to light at the flick of a switch, will need an Alice in Wonderland. All we can do is hope and pray that from mulling to milking solar power the powers to be can go full speed ahead’. Reality will be seen, come January 2014. Till then, good luck and good hope.
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