Goodbye peshwe park, hello renewable energy

TIMES NEWS NETWORK[ THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 04, 2003 02:54:33 AM ]

The wait seems to be finally over. Come October end and Pune will, at last, boast of the unique Renewable Energy Park that made headlines early last year. The Rs 1.75 crore project -financed largely by the Central government and the Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA) - was part of a central policy to promote non-conventional, renewable and alternate energy devices and technologies. Despite shifting of the zoo to the Rajeev Gandhi Zoological Park at Katraj and the delays at the ministry that withheld construction, work is now on at full swing at the park which will be based at Peshwe Park.

Intending to make it a special Diwali gift for Puneites,G M Pillai, director general, MEDA, seems optimistic that the first phase of the park will open to public by October end. “The strict deadline will ensure unhampered work at the park,” observes Pillai. With the objective to impart awareness about imaging and future energy technologies, the park will demonstrate pollution free renewable energy technologies. It’s main attraction will, however, be the solar powered toy train. The 20-seater mini-train will have its power supplied by a 20 KWP SPV powered plant, another attraction for alternative energy enthusiasts. A collaborative project between MEDA and the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the park is spread over seven acres and will boast a number of new installations and alterations. Says Pillai, “Five pavilions representing different branches of non conventional energy - solar, wind, hydel and bio energy, will be constructed.

A solar photovoltaic cell, display on various SPV devices such as fan or TV, a computer-based solar energy quiz and games will be a part of the solar pavilion. The wind pavilion will exhibit a water pumping wind mill,while the hydel powered pavilion will consist of exhibits on different turbine and wave power models. The bio energy pavilion will display a biogas plant among other things. Finally, the Energy pavilion will include a CD library with films on energy.” Based loosely on the lines of the Energy Park in Kolkata, the park will display innovative outdoor exhibits like a power generating drum and battery-operated bicycle. This done the park will then move on to its second phase which will include the SPV integrated solar hut with passive architectural design, an amphitheatre, a restaurant and solar powered bumping cars and boats. Pillai seems more that confident that the park will break-even within the first year itself. Says he, “The Peshwe Park is located in the heart of the city and is visited by more than 10 lakh people annually. There’s no doubt that the new park will be a success.”

geetanjali.patole@timesgroup.com