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Palli becomes India’s first ‘carbon neutral panchayat’

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Palli: The nondescript hamlet of Palli in Jammu and Kashmir’s border district of Samba entered into the ‘modern history’ of India on Sunday as country’s first “carbon neutral panchayat” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicating to the nation 500 KV solar plant, installed in a record time of nearly three weeks.

Modi, inaugurated the solar power plant amid cheer and applause from the people.

The prime minister said that Palli has shown the way to the country for achieving carbon neutral state. “People of Palli have helped in the project. They have also provided food to people engaged in the project,” he said.

In all 1,500 solar panels put up on the total area of 6,408 square metres will provide clean electricity to 340 houses in the model panchayat under the central government’s ‘Gram Urja Swaraj’ programme, officials said.

The project was completed at a cost of Rs 2.75 crore in a record time, officials said. The electricity generated will be distributed to the village, having a daily requirement of 2,000 units, through the local power grid station.

The village, which has 450 houses, have been given solar ‘Chulhas’ (stoves) and all the houses will be covered by the next phase after the prime minister’s visit, the officials said.

Palli’s sarpanch Ravinder Sharma, who interacted with the prime minister, told him that village has LED bulbs, solar cookers and solar stoves.

Asked by the prime minister whether the village has solar pumps for irrigation of farmlands, Sharma said that 10 such pumps have been installed and 40 more will be installed in the next phase.

Prime Minister asked the villagers to celebrate the birthday of their hamlet after fixing a date for it. “You should always celebrate the birthday of the village. All people who belong to this village and are living should be called back to participate in the celebrations,” Modi said.

Sharma said that April 24 is the Palli village’s formation day and they will celebrate its birthday.

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