Sustainable measures fall apart at K Gollahalli PHC

City Health International

Primary Health Centre (PHC) of K.Gollahalliis unable to reap the benefits  of solar powered healthcare.

The solar-powered electricity has stopped working at PHC of K.Gollahalli. Dr. Shalini, Medical Officer at PHC in K. Gollahalli said, “Earlier, the PHC was powered by solar energy but it has stopped working since last year.”

The government has recommended that PHCs in India use solar-powered electricity to encourage clean energy. However, Dr. Shalini said that due to lack of maintenance and leak during heavy rains,the solar panels at K. Gollahalli PHC have stopped working. The facility is currently running on direct electricity supply from  Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM).

Narendra Babu, Panchayat Development Officer at K.Gollahalli Panchayat Office said that the PHCs do not come under the jurisdiction of panchayats and hence, they cannot do much about the maintenance of the solar panels.

The Global South-South Summit of 2022 held at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB), however, recommended the Indian model of PHCs using solar energy to African countries. The Summit launched a Roadmap for Sustainably Powering Healthcare in low-resource setting. The event began today and recommended the adoption of solar energy use in agricultural, industrial, healthcare and education sectors by developing countries in Africa.

Nikhita Pathak, Director of Climate and Sustainability at Social Alpha, a sustainable start-up said that diesel-powered electricity is cheaper compared to the solar-powered electricity but there is a risk of power cuts and increase in carbon emissions. It is important that we adapt a sustainable healthcare system that is renewable.

Through a video call at the Global South-South Summit 2022, Senior Medical Officer of PHC at Chechnapur district of Manipur emphasised the benefits of having solar-powered electricity to run 24/7 PHCs, especially during emergencies like pregnancy labour.

Dr. Krishna , an Environmentalist said that having a solar-powered facility which runs 24/7, would require batteries that can store electricity for a longer time.