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Tech twist: LED light & portal pain
Green bulbs to save BMC crores

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 16: The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation has begun its power saving drive by fixing energy efficient light emitting diode (LED) bulbs in lamp posts along city streets.

Fifty-four bulbs were replaced on the stretch between Sishu Bhavan-Capital Hospital Square yesterday.

The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) will fix 20,000 energy-efficient bulbs over the next one-and-a-half years in phases.

Once all the bulbs are replaced, the corporation will save around Rs 1.2 crore on its annual power bill.

At present the city has 36,000 lampposts of which 20,000 will be fixed with LED bulbs in the first phase. While in phase one 14,000 lights will be changed, another 6,000 will be replaced later.

Municipal commissioner Sanjib Kumar Mishra said according to the agreement with a Mumbai-based company contracted for the work, the corporation would save almost 80 per cent on power bills. Of the amount saved on the power bill, the company will get 90 per cent and the civic body 10 per cent.

The deal will be on for 10 years from the completion of the project.

However, the major gain will come from the cost incurred by the civic body as it invests around Rs 3 crore a year in purchasing electrical fittings and bulbs.

The benefit will start accruing once the present bulbs are replaced completely with LED bulbs.

The civic body at present pays Rs 9.8 crore annually on account of power consumption alone. The corporation will pay the private company replacing the existing streetlights Rs 60 lakh per year till the project is complete as the cost of each energy-efficient bulb and its maintenance is Rs 300 per year.

While a common street light uses a 120 watt bulb, the energy saving LEDs will consume 90 watt or less.

The 54 lights on the Sishu Bhavan-Capital Hospital stretch were also fitted with manual dimmer, which can be operated after midnight hours to reduce power consumption.

Once installation of energy-saving lights is done, the system can be made digital and linked to a central server for a particular area or the city.

“This will help in follow-up action as the system can tell which bulb is not working,’’ the commissioner said.

Last year the International Finance Corporation, a sister concern of the World Bank, had signed an agreement to ensure energy-efficient lighting in the state capital.

The International Finance Corporation is taking a consultancy fee of $5,000 a year from the corporation.

The organisation did the preliminary survey of street lights in the city and helped in selecting the agency to execute the project.

Asked about the corporations’s next step after it saves on energy bills, the municipal commissioner said: “When we are going to save Rs 1.2 crore or more a year after the installation of 20,000 LED bulbs, newroad projects will be taken up in the unreachable areas on the outskirts. Areas lacking basic infrastructure will be given priority.”