Many Mizoram villages that had not received electricity so far are now witnessing a transformation through solar energy.
Thanks to the efforts of Zoram Electricity Development Agency (ZEDA).
The Central and the State governments in collaboration with ZEDA have brought solar light to many remote villages.
The ZEDA has literally brought a revolution in Mizoram, which is considered to be solar radiation deficient, by establishing many power plants fully operated on solar energy.
All this has been done in a span of five years.
"It is not an easy job to do. But we have to do it to improve the livelihood of the villagers. So, we did it and continue to do," said Benjamin L. Tlumtea, ZEDA, project officer.
Most parts of the country receive 4 kilowatt-hour to 7 kilowatt-hour of solar radiation per square meter per day with 250-300 sunny days in a year, but the Northeast falls shot of that.
According to 2001 State census, 90 villages and 14 hamlets were not electrified.
But the ZEDA through its concerted effort has provided power to most of the villages. It has provided 5931 solar lanterns, 3386 home lighting systems and 431 street lightings have been installed so far.
Most of the villages covered are 200 km to 300 km away from the State capital.
"Solar lamps are very useful to us. Earlier, we used kerosene oil to light lamp, but now the solar lantern has made our task easier. And our children can study under bright light at night, said R. Chhunghnemi, a villager.
ZEDA is not only promoting the use of solar energy but is also providing the villagers different kinds of equipments required to generate the solar energy, like solar lamp and solar heater.
Moreover, supporting the work of ZEDA and the State Government, many shops have come up, providing both-solar equipments as well as their services too.
Villagers appreciate the effort of the solar providers and walk several miles to receive the equipments.
Lalfakmawia, a solar equipment and service provider, said: "Mizoram had a very good solar radiation. However, the prices of solar tapping equipments are bit expensive, so all the people could not afford it. The government policy of giving solar equipment in subsidised rate is quite beneficial in providing light to several non-electrified villages. I wish if more policy of such kind is implemented by the government, then in future, solar energy could be utilised by all."
Mizoram is showing the way to other Northeastern states.
In 1986, the State embraced peace, and its achievement since then in the field of education, literacy, promotion of bamboo industries and the solar energy has been great.