In a classic case of official apathy, the country’s first energy park at Bangalore’s Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain has been allowed to die a quick death within years of its launch, resulting in a loss of crores of rupees to the exchequer.
Touted as a unique facility to educate young minds on the significance of renewable energy, the well-equipped park with the theme ‘Fun with Energy’, was established by the Karnataka Renewable Energy Development Limited (KREDL), in association with the Horticulture Department.
Launched at a cost of Rs 1.5 crore in 2006 with financial assistance from the Union Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy, the project has a solar hut with a photovoltaic rooftop system, a children’s pool with a solar water heater testing facility, battery-operated vehicles to take visitors around, and a windmill that pumps borewell water, among others.
But nothing is in a working condition.It also has a demonstration of street lighting and garden lights with a small solar panel and aero generators (miniature version of windmills) installed at various places to generate energy from wind.
But what was to be the pride of Bangalore, lies in a shambles, with equipment broken and gathering dust.
The children’s swimming pool with a solar water heater is a classic example of negligence. The water from the pool is diverted for the construction of the War Memorial.
An electric car meant to educate visitors on the advantage of renewable energy against the fossil fuel is rusted and the solar panels on display are damaged.
Though the park was said to be illuminated by solar panels, not a single electricity pole appeared to be functioning, as none of them has a battery and a battery chamber to store electricity.
The condition of the solar hut, aimed at exhibiting self-reliance in energy, is pathetic, to say the least.
If broken bamboos and fallen boards greet visitors outside, the hut in the park speaks a tale of official apathy, as none of the equipment, except the refrigerator, functions.
Besides a broken solar cooker, heavy batteries meant to store energy need replacement; five computers, fans and four kiosks to display information about the park and renewable energy are defunct.
KREDL officials declined to comment.