Five jails in Jharkhand are tapping into solar energy to meet emergency security requirements like running electronic security gadgets and lights besides continuing office work during load-shedding. The high security prisons where the solar energy generation has begun on a trial basis are Hotwar Central Jail in Ranchi, Central Jail in Dumka and sub jails in Simdega, Jamtara and Khunti. Maoists and criminals make up a large number of inmates lodged at these jails and keep authorities worried about the security of the jails. “The system is currently functional in all these jails. It has enhanced the security of the jails and diminished the jail’s dependency on generators,” said IG of Prisons, Suman Gupta.
The authorities have in the past found that inmates use mobile phones when the jammers are inactive during power cuts. It was a serious violation of the jails’ security norms, but the authorities did not have any option (generator could not meet the entire energy requirement during power cuts). Solar energy, a jail authority said, will take away this opportunity from the prisoners.
The solar energy automatically activates jammers and CCTV during power cuts. “It also powers office computers to increase the efficiency of workers who face trouble during power cuts,” says Ravindra Gagrai, Superintendent of Khunti sub zonal jail where 459 inmates are lodged.