The street-lighting system of Kolkata city is set for an overhaul with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) planning to replace all metal halide lights with LED ones. To begin with, the KMC electrical department will install 30,000 LED lights to illuminate Kolkata’s major thoroughfares. In the next phase, other important roads will come under the street illumination project. The last phase will take care of city’s lanes.The state government has assured the civic top brass to release INR 80 crore in phases for the ‘Green City’ project. Under this project, the Bengal government is scheduled to get funds for turning the city eco-friendly. The lighting project undertaken by the civic body will help Kolkata to earn carbon credit points.
“We have decided to switch over from the current street lighting system to the new LED system which will help us earn the much-needed carbon credit points, a parameter to achieve the green city mission,” said Manzar Iqbal, the mayor-in-council member overseeing the KMC lighting and electrical department.
Apart from the switchover to LED lighting system along thoroughfares, the civic body also plans to install LED lights in city’s parks, the civic central municipal building (headquarters) on SN Banerjee Road and 16 borough offices located across the city.
According to a KMC electrical department senior official, the initiative to shift to LEDs has been taken to get a control over the escalating power bill. Currently, the KMC maintains two-tier street lighting system — the metal halide lights and the tridents. This twin lighting system has adversely affected civic coffers.
The electric bill shot up from INR 10 crore a month in 2010 to INR 18 crore in 2017. According to a preliminary estimate drawn up by the electrical department, the power bills could be reduced by half after installation of LED bulbs. “As we complete installation of 30,000 LED bulbs hopefully by next six months, we will also measure the cost effectiveness of the new lighting system. Initially, LED bulbs will cost more than what a metal halide light costs but in the long run the city will gain — both in terms of finance and sticking to green standards,” a KMC electrical department senior official said.
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