UP Seeks To Test Solar Template At Magh Mela 2024 For Bigger Kumbh Ambitions

Highlights :

  • Using solar extensively to power facilities at the mela is no brainer, and one hopes the government meets with success.
  • The challenge will be to ensure that facilities set up are maintained well for reuse beyond just the mela period
UP Seeks To Test Solar Template At Magh Mela 2024 For Bigger Kumbh Ambitions

The Uttar Pradesh government’s plan to develop 20 solar cities by 2026-27 with a total installed capacity of 16,000 MW is beginning to show some specific outcomes.

In Prayagraj, one of the cities on the list, solar energy will be used extensively during the upcoming Magh Mela-2024. Preparations have apparently begun after a go-ahead from the government. Scheduled to run from January 15 to March 8, 2025, the annual Magh Mela is a key festival on the calendar for the state’s spiritual tourism ambitions and Hindus broadly.

The Magh Mela area, which is spread across 680 hectares, is a massive effort that attracts millions of devotees, and the focus in recent years has been to streamline facilities and conditions as much as possible to make it a better experience for them. The template was set during the Kumbh Mela in 2019 when facilities saw a significant upgrade, but the government missed using as much solar as it would have liked. Government departments and over three thousand other organizations are expected to participate in the Mela. To give one indication, over 10000 electric poles and transformers have been installed for unrestricted electricity supply in the area.

Government records indicate over 90 lakh units of electricity are consumed every year at Magh Mela, making a solid use case for the use of solar to ensure uninterrupted supply in the daytime. Plans are also afoot to use Lithium-ion batteries for storage for the first time in 2024 to ensure power backup for the evenings too.

A good run for solar in Magh Mela 2024 will position it for even bigger goals for the Ardhkumbh-2025 (Mahakumbh), which happens every six years. Over 20 million devotees will make a beeline for Prayagraj. One certainly hopes that by the time the next Mahakumbh in 2031, solar will power not just the mela area but a significant part of Prayagraj and Uttar Pradesh itself.

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