• The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) on Wednesday stated that, the central government has launched a scheme for complete solarisation of Konark Sun Temple and Konark town in Odisha.
• Under the scheme a 10 MW grid connected solar project and various solar off-grid applications like solar trees, solar drinking water kiosks, off-grid solar power plants with battery storage will be set up in the area.
• This scheme has been launched with an objective to take forward Prime Minister’s vision to develop the historical Sun temple town of Konark in Odisha as ‘Surya Nagri’, to convey a message of synergy between the modern use of solar energy and the ancient Sun Temple and the importance of promoting solar energy.
• Implementation of the whole scheme will be done by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA).
• All the energy requirements of Konark town will be met by solar energy under this scheme.
• 100% Central Financial Assistance (CFA) support of around Rs. 25 Crores from Government of India through Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) will be provided.
Konark Sun Temple:
• Dedicated to the Hindu Sun God Surya, Konark Sun Temple is a 13th century sun temple at Konark on the coastline of Odisha, India.
• Based on Brahmin beliefs, this temple was by King Narasimhadeva I (1238-1250 CE) of the Eastern Ganga Dynasty.
• The temple was called the “Black Pagoda” in European sailor accounts because its great tower appeared black. Similarly, the Jagannath Temple in Puri was called the “White Pagoda”
• It is a major pilgrimage site for Hindus, who gather here every year for the Chandrabhaga Mela around the month of February.
• It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the year of 1984.
Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
• Formed in the year of 1992 The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) is a ministry of the Government of India that is mainly responsible for research and development, intellectual property protection, and international cooperation, promotion, and coordination in renewable energy sources such as wind power, small hydro, biogas, and solar power.
• Headquartered in Delhi, Raj Kumar Singh is the Minister of State.