"With most tribal hamlets thinly populated and without electricity, it became difficult to supply piped water to these places under the present scheme. So we introduced solar energy-based piped water system in areas with a population of less than 300," Executive Engineer (rural supply and sanitation), Koraput, Monaranjan Mali said.

The solar-operated submersible pumps, which draw 5,000 to 20,000 litre water everyday, operate automatically and store water in an overhead tank, he said.
Officials said a solar array (300-800W) is installed near a borewell and one HP submersible pump is placed inside it. These work on power generated from photo-voltaic solar cells. On a regular day, the pump operates for about 7-8 hours, Mali said.
The scheme is being executed by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) with the Centre funding the entire project.
"The solar panel will last for 15-20 years. Both operation and maintenance costs are low. OREDA will maintain the project for first five years," Mali said. Each system has been installed at a cost of Rs 4.50 lakh, officials said.

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