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Mini-grid inaugurated at Mon’s Totokchungha village

Mini grid

Dimapur, February 24: In a pioneering initiative to deliver last-mile access to electricity in rural areas of the Northeastern state of Nagaland, Mon district administration and Mithun Rural Development Foundation (MRDF) inaugurated their first of the 3 mini-grids at Totokchungha village yesterday. It was inaugurated by N Thongwang Konyak, MLA, Mon District.
The two other solar mini grids at Chenwetnyu and Longkei will be inaugurated in the month of March 2022. The two organizations recently signed a 20-year agreement to set up Mini-Grids in rural Nagaland in January this year.
The event was attended by Thavaseelan K, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Mon, Nagaland; Tiakala Ao, General Manager NABARD; Samit Mitra, Senior Director at Smart Power India; Vijay Bhaskar, Managing Director, MRDF; Shyamal Bera, Senior Manager, MRDF along with Sudeshna Mukherjee, Director of Operations, MRDF; Namrata Ginoya, Senior Manager, World Resources Institute (WRI) and N. Thongwang Konyak, MLA, Mon District, among others.
Speaking at the event, Thavaseelan K, IAS, Deputy Commissioner, Mon, Nagaland said, “The first 3 grids have been financed by Smart Power India. These are just first of the several mini-grids that are going to be installed in the Mon district. This project will make power available 24×7.”
He added, “NABARD is supporting livelihood interventions. It has setup a revolving fund, which is going to be used to support entrepreneurs. Eventually, this fund would grow bigger to support entrepreneurs across the Mon district.”
Vijay Bhaskar, Managing Director, MRDF said, “In the next 3-4 years, we will install mini-grids for all 130 villages in Mon district. This pilot will be eventually scaled across all villages in Nagaland. We are following a PPP model of partnership – public, private and people, people being the most important part. Smart Power India has given us a roadmap to do this in the next 7 years. We will put all efforts to make this vision a reality.”
Tiakala Ao, General Manager, NABARD said, “We are sponsoring a group of beneficiaries from Totokchingha, Longkei and Chenwetnyu who will be visiting another district in March, where they will be exposed to bio floc, fish farming. This training will bring an economic boom to this region as it is going to attract reverse migration enabling rural youth to set up microenterprises here. The future looks promising.”
Samit Mitra, Senior Director, Smart Power India said, “This is a complete village integrated development programme that is not only about lighting loads, but also about enterprises, livelihoods, productive loads, all things that contribute to the overall well-being of the community. This is the first time we have undertaken a project with MRDF to expand our footprint of mini-grids in North-East India. We have funded 3-4 plants to initiate the programme so that there’s proof of concept on the ground here which other organizations can replicate and scale across Nagaland and beyond. We are hopeful that this programme will meet its objective of providing livelihoods and increasing the earning potential of villages in the Mon District.”
The program aims to provide reliable access to electricity for the last mile and promoting the adoption of green energy sources, covering 1000 villages in the next seven years
(Page News Service)