Latest NorthEast India News | Assam government announces mandatory rooftop solar panels

GUWAHATI: The Assam government has announced mandatory installation of rooftop solar panels in all new buildings in the state.

This was announced by Assam finance minister Ajanta Neog in her budget speech on Monday (February 12).

She said: “All new buildings (private and public) to be constructed in Assam shall mandatorily install roof-top solar facility.”

“Our government shall come up with a new legislation to this effect during the current year,” said Ajanta Neog in her budget speech.

The Assam finance minister further said that the state government will implement Pradhan Mantri Suryodaya Yojana, a central government scheme, with a target to install rooftop solar systems in households.

“Our government will also implement this eco-friendly scheme by contributing the corresponding state share,” said Assam finance minister Ajanta Neog.

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS

Renewable energy  

MoUs signed between Assam Power Generation Corporation Limited and Oil India Limited for Rs 4091 crore for green power generation projects, including a 25 MW solar project at Namrup.  

Collaborated with Neyvelli Lignite Corporation India Limited and Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam for state-based renewable energy projects. 

Government of India has approved to setup 1000 MW Solar Power Plants 

Further, the works of Lower Kopili Hydro Electric Project with capacity of 120 MW will be completed by the end of this year. 

Green transportation

As a “commitment to eco-friendly practices, the Assam government introduced 2% reduction in Motor Vehicle Tax and exemptions on registration fees for new electric vehicles.  

Under the Vehicle Scrappage Policy, 3000 vehicles were dismantled scientifically, the Assam finance minister informed.

“We have introduced 100 CNG buses, 200 electric buses in Guwahati city under ASTC. In FY 24-25 we will introduce another 100 EVs in the Guwahati metropolitan so that public transportation in the city is made 100% green and fossil-fuel free,” she said.

Welfare of tea tribe community 

Assam finance minister Ajanta Neog said that the state government “shall support tea garden families by paying the arrear electricity dues of tea garden worker families living in the lines”. 

“I earmark Rs 75 crore under this,” said Assam finance minister Ajanta Neog.

She added: “Further, we will take measures to secure land rights for tea tribe community. It was found that tea tribes and some of the members of indigenous communities do not possess documents to prove domicile for three generations and as a result, they are deprived from receiving settlement of the land.”

Financial assistance to Assamese cinemas:

In order to encourage big-screen Assamese cinema, the Assam government has expressed its intent to provide grant of Rs 10 lakh to full-fledged Assamese cinemas. 

“A jury of eminent persons would scrutinize the nominations and submit their recommendations. The aim is to make Assamese cinema more competitive and commercial,” said Ajanta Neog.

“Further, I propose to support artists and technicians of Assamese cinema and mobile theatre by bringing them under Atal Pension Yojana. Our Government will be paying 50% of their contribution for five years,” she said.

Grants to 50 new cinema halls:

Furthermore, to boost the cinema industry of Assam, the state government proposed to invest 50 lakh as share capital/ grant/ soft loan for each new cinema hall to be proposed by NGO/cultural organization/private sector. 

Incentives to Bihu committees:

“Last year, our government provided Rs 1.5 lakh to registered Bihu committees which are over ten years old. This initiative will continue and I propose Rs 34.5 crore towards this,” the Assam finance minister said.

She added: “In addition, we propose to organize a record-level event of Bohag Bihu in New Delhi.” 

Reservation for Agniveers in Assam police 

The Assam government also announced that it would reserve 10% of the posts in the Assam police department for eligible Agniveers. “However, this applies for local candidates only,” she said.