As part of the global Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) and the associated people’s choice campaign called We Love Cities, a Green Energy Fair was organised jointly by Rajkot Municipal Corporation, WWF-India and ICLEI-South Asia, at Dr. Vikram Sarabhai Energy Park, Rajkot on 9 February 2015. The fair attracted many people from across the city and included various renewable energy manufacturers, school students, teachers and other people interested and curious to know about renewable energy.
The Green Energy Fair was inaugurated by Ms. Rakshaben Boliya, Mayor, Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) and was also attended by Mr Vijay Nehra, Commissioner, RMC. The fair was aimed towards promoting simple and practical renewable energy solutions that individuals and institutions could adopt to shift to a greener lifestyle. Various applications like solar panels, solar water heaters, solar lighting systems and solar cookers were showcased at the park, while manufacturers gave live demonstrations of some of the applications to display their practical implementation and ease of use. Painting and essay-writing competitions were also held for school children on the theme, “My Dream City”. The competitions saw some very interesting and creative entries by students. The winners of both the competitions were awarded by Hon’ble Mayor.
The Green Energy Fair was organised as part of global Earth Hour City Challenge, where Rajkot has emerged among the 44 global finalist cities. Rajkot’s aggressive low carbon targets towards 2016 and its other major initiatives such as the BRT project have all contributed to city’s position as a finalist city. Another major step by the city is its Rajkot Energy Park, which was also the venue for the event, is a state funded park that exhibits different non-conventional energy sources and acts as an information centre for documentation and dissemination of renewable energy based information. The thrust on energy efficient street lighting has also been one of the key actions demonstrated by the city. Other sustainable waste management practices of the city include total ban on prohibited plastic, formation of debris squad and creating a sakhi mandal of unskilled and unorganized workers that not just gives them employment, but also makes the city clean.
Rajkot is also one of the running contenders for the We Love Cities Campaign where people from across the globe are voting for their favourite city from among the EHCC finalists. People can simply visit www.welovecities.org/rajkot to cast their vote. Each time people vote, tweet, instagram and/or share their suggestions, Rajkot comes a step closer to becoming the world’s most loved city.