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Go green to save electricity bill

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 17: Light the streets but don’t lighten your purse.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) has submitted a detailed project report to the state housing and urban development department to decrease its annual expenditure on streetlights.

In September 2011, BMC had signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, to prepare the detailed project report.

The report contains a number of features to decrease the consumption of electricity through energy conservation. It has suggested installation of timer machines on electric poles to conserve energy.

The timer machines will enable the streetlights to be switched on and off automatically.

The report has also suggested the use of dimmers to conserve energy. The dimmers are used to manage lighting level and, hence, help control the illumination level in the early morning and early evening hours.

This apart, energy efficient transformers along with light-emitting diode bulbs will replace the older ones, stated the report.

“We often spend unnecessary electricity on streetlights. The detailed project report has also taken into account the requirement of streetlights in various areas. There are many areas, where more number of streetlight poles have been erected than required. The report has also focused on the amount of lighting required on busy streets and streets with lesser vehicle movement,” said a senior officer of the civic body.

Sources said that in the first phase, nearly 20,000 electric poles would be included and the corporation would float an expression of interest after the housing and urban development department approved the project report.

At present, the city has nearly 30,000 streetlight poles.

According to the proposal, the civic body will tie up with a private party that will implement the features of the project report.

“After that the civic body will find out the amount of saving and, if there is a benefit, the private party will share a portion of the benefits with the civic body,” said a senior officer of the corporation.

Though the officials feel that it is difficult to calculate the exact benefit, these measures are expected to cut down the energy consumption of streetlights by around 30 per cent.

At present, the corporation annually spends around Rs 6 crore for street lighting apart from another Rs 1 crore towards maintenance.

“The civic body should have taken various guidelines prescribed in the Bureau of Indian Standards earlier. The city should be divided into various zones, depending on the requirement of illumination. The civic body should follow the Baroda Municipal Corporation, which has been getting accolades from the Centre for its energy conservation measures,” said urban practitioner Piyush Ranjan Rout.