Bhubaneswar, Aug. 8: You can anticipate bright lights on the roads, as the civic body looks forward to a lighter power bill.
A new street-lighting project that has been approved by the housing and urban development department will cut the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) power bill by 80 per cent.
BMC commissioner Sanjib Kumar Mishra stressed that reduction in the power bill would not mean low-quality lighting.
Officials of the corporation said the state government had approved this project after a Mumbai-based company made a presentation about reducing the expenditure on lighting the streets in the state capital. The company would replace the existing sodium bulbs, tube lights and metal halide bulbs with highly efficient LED (light emitting diodes) lights.
“We had sought proposals from various companies that would be able to reduce energy expenses by at least 30 per cent. A Mumbai-based company assured us of an 80 per cent reduction in energy expenditure, which was the maximum,” said Mishra.
The project will cover the entire area that falls under the jurisdiction of the BMC.
A corporation official said the annual energy expenses of the city were at present more than Rs 8.64 crore towards electricity bills and maintenance of over 25,000 streetlights. The monthly power consumption for streetlights in the city has gone up from Rs 35 lakh three years ago to Rs 72 lakh now. The ever-increasing electricity tariff and addition of new streetlights have caused a jump in expenses. After the company implements this project, the corporation expects to save up to Rs 6 crore a year on energy bills.
The corporation sent the proposal of the energy efficient streetlight system to the housing and urban development department, which gave its nod recently. Sources said there was a meeting between the corporation and the urban development department officials with the chief secretary about this matter today.
“We are going to sign the letter of intent with the company within the next 15 days and they will start work by the end of this month. The process of replacing the existing lights with energy efficient LED lights will take at least six months,” said the commissioner.
Officials said 14,000 streetlights would be replaced by LED lights in the first phase and another 6,000 would be replaced gradually by the private firm. In the third phase, the remaining 5,000 streetlights will be replaced. Electronic devices to minimise power consumption, meters to gauge the units consumed, dimmers to reduce intensity of power after midnight and electronic timers to switch on and switch off the lights on time will also be used to minimise the power bill.
Mishra said the corporation would pay the firm Rs 60 lakh to set up a monitoring room and install energy meters certified by the Central Electricity Supply Utility. During the 10-year contract period, the company would maintain the streetlights and deploy its own staff for upkeep of these facilities.
BMC officials said the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a wing of the World Bank, was the transaction advisor for the project. IFC would judge the performance of the company, while citizens’ inputs would also be taken note of.
The city at present has LED street lighting systems on the stretch between Master Canteen and Ram Mandir, and between Kalpana Square and Ravi Talkies Square. Officials said the stretch between Governor’s House and Jayadev Vihar Square would have LED streetlights by next week.
“The company will fix timers and intensity controllers to reduce energy expenditure. Unlike the current system, the energy efficient lights will reduce the intensity after midnight when there is low traffic on the roads. This will definitely slice the energy expenditure by more than 80 per cent,” said assistant engineer, electrical, BMC, Ajit Kumar Behera.