Though the city has a policy mandating the use of solar panels for large houses and commercial establishments, just 4,371 buildings have adopted this cleaner technology to power their homes and offices.
Not just privately owned buildings, even government buildings – including those of the state discom — have not installed these panels.Data by Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) shows that the discom received 3,454 applications to set up solar panels in circle-1, of which 1,975 were approved. In circle-2, 2,396 of the total 4,851 applications were approved. The remaining were rejected or they are under consideration.
Circle-1 covers all of Old Gurgaon, and circle-2 includes New Gurgaon and Sohna.
It was in 2014 that the department of town and country planning (DTCP) came up with its policy mandating installation of solar panels on all buildings constructed over an area of 500sq yards or more. Though it was mandatory, there is no penalty for not abiding with this norm.
Estimates indicate there are hundreds, if not thousands, more buildings in the city that should have adopted solar power by now.
Government officials believe every sector between 1 and 57 has 400-500 plots each of more than 500sq yards.
Gurgaon has over 3,000 guest houses and colonies developed by private builders on plots over 500sq yards. DTCP has issued around 2,000 licences for residential and commercial complexes too. In addition, HSVP sectors have over 500 group housing societies. Besides this, there are hundreds of schools, colleges, universities, hospitals, hotels, and offices.
Also around 20 offices of DHBVN and Haryana Vidyut Prasaran Nigam Ltd (HVPNL) engineers and sub-divisional officers don’t have solar panels. Even the DTCP building and Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran’s (HSVP) three offices don’t have the facility.
Asked about this, DHBVN chief engineer Vinit Singh said the discom had prepared a proposal to install solar panels a few years back, but it could not be implemented. “Now, we are going to prepare a fresh one,” he said.
Experts said many residents and commercial establishment owners were unaware of the policy.
“The process to get solar panels and register with the discom are also complex and cumbersome even though installation cost for panels up to 1kV is around Rs 45,000 only,” said Avinash Saini, CEO of Aldex Energy, a wholesale trader of solar panels.
District town planner (DTP) Rajesh Kaushik said developers submit documents related to solar panels at group housing societies at the head office in Panchkula. “The occupation certificates (OCs) for group housing societies and malls are issued from the head office,” he said.
OCs are issued after submission of certificates, including installation of solar panels and rainwater harvesting systems, and electricity connection proof.