Solar power to fire Nemmadi telecentres

Solar power to fire Nemmadi telecentres

 Erratic power supply in the rural areas is not a new phenomena.
But power cuts at the Government’s own Nemmadi telecentres, have been so severe that the Department of e-governance is in the process of shifting the entire power supply to solar power.
Nemmadi centres were established by the Government as a one-stop shop to cater to the needs of the citizen at the hobli level, has itself been hampered due to the lack of power supply to the centres.
 A senior official in the e-governance department told Deccan Herald that from January of this year, the centres were suffering from a minimum of four hour power cuts and the time they did have power, the voltage was too low to recharge the batteries of back up power.
“Out of 800 centres, 552 centres were running on back up power. Each centre is equipped with back up power that lasts for two hours. Even when we had power, the voltage was too low and we could not even get the batteries charged,” the official said. This has resulted in the deterioration of several of the batteries and having to be replaced at many of the centres. The staff at Nemmadi were forced to just accept the applications during the day and generate reports only in the night. The centre is popularly used to provide copies of land records and 38 other citizen centric services of the Revenue department including the issual of caste certificates. Services which used to take a day or two, were now taking longer as the process was being stalled at the centre itself.

Applications

Earlier this year, Nemmadi centres were also designated by the Department of Food and Civil Supplies to accept applications for ration cards. As a result, the centres had 3.3 lakh people visiting them and only about 25 temporary ration cards were issued. Handling the crowds with such shortcomings proved to be very difficult, the official said.
They also had to resort to sending people to their taluka centres, which function only as back end offices.
With batteries busted, the centres were forced to run on diesel generators, which turned out not only to be an expensive proposition, but subject to pilferage as well.
The admission time for colleges, have meant that more people will be approaching the centres for caste certificates. Fed up, the beleaguered department is now in the process of installing solar power units to ease its woes.

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