Taloja jail set to save power, to be run on so­lar power

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Pranab Jy­oti Bhuyan pranab.bhuyan@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NAVI MUMBAI: The Taloja jail here is set to be the first cen­tral jail in the state to run com­pletely on so­lar power.

In an ef­fort to re­duce en­ergy ex­pen­di­tures, the Raigad col­lec­tor’s of­fice has al­lo­cated Rs 30 lakh for the in­stal­la­tion of 280 so­lar poles in­side and out­side the jail, after which en­ergy ex­pen­di­tures will be cut by 50%, a se­nior of­fi­cial said.

“If we are spend­ing Rs3 lakh per month for elec­tric­ity now, the amount will go down to al­most Rs 1.5 lakh once this sys­tem is op­er­a­tional,” said Ashok Karkar, se­nior jailer.

“The project was started around 10 days ago and al­most 90 so­lar pan­els have al­ready been in­stalled in­side the jail. The re­main­ing will be in­stalled within the next month,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to Karkar, each pole will have a so­lar plate and a light at­tached to it. The plate ab­sorbs sun­light, trans­form­ing it into power. The light will be lit up with that power dur­ing the night.

To keep every in­mate un­der sur­veil­lance, the jail needs to keep its premises lit for al­most 15 hours a day. Power is also re­quired for ad­min­is­tra­tive pur­poses, in the bar­racks, and in the of­fi­cers’ rooms.

“The task of deal­ing with in­mates who have crim­i­nal back­grounds and keep­ing tabs on them 24x7 is not easy. We will be risk­ing our jobs if we do not light up the premises prop­erly, just to cut elec­tric­ity ex­penses. This new sys­tem will help us get more power with less ex­pense,” another of­fi­cer said.

The jail can ac­com­mo­date a to­tal of 2,124 in­mates. Presently, they have around 1,950. Over 60% are from the places like Mumbai, Thane and Kalyan. Sev­eral un­der­world gang mem­bers such as Chota Ra­jan, Ravi Pu­jari and Bharat Nepali are in this jail.

“We con­duct var­i­ous pro­grammes for our in­mates on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. It has been al­most a year since we started a reg­u­lar yoga ses­sion which we are still con­tin­u­ing. A few days ago, our in­mates planted around 300 saplings and are now tak­ing care of them,” Karkar said.

FILE PHOTO

The Taloja jail can ac­com­mo­date a to­tal of 2,124 in­mates.

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