The civic body’s power bill doubles after power tariff revision

Power comes at a price, the Kochi Corporation has realised this the hard way.

The Kerala State Electricity Board’s (KSEB) revised power bill was a shocker to the Kochi Corporation. The civic body’s power bills nearly doubled last month, sending shock waves in the cash-strapped Corporation. The civic body is now looking to adapt power-saving measures.

During the pre-tariff revision days, the monthly power bills of the Corporation were between Rs.30 lakh and Rs. 40 lakh.

This has doubled since the power tariff revision, burning a hole in the pocket of the civic administration. Last month’s power bill was around Rs. 70 lakh.

The immediate attention of the Corporation would be devoted to reducing power consumption, said Kochi Mayor Tony Chammany.

New plans

As a long-term measure, the Corporation is planning to tap solar power for two zonal offices to reduce its dependence on the power provided by the Board.

Plans were being worked out to enable zonal offices in Vyttila and Edappally to draw power from solar panels during the current fiscal itself, said Mr. Chammany.

The proposals for installing solar panels have been included in the People’s Plan Programme.

The proposals came up at the working group meeting of the civic body which prepares the first document for projects. The clearance of the Corporation council is required for giving shape to projects, said Mr. Chammany.

The Corporation also has plans for its main building. It remains to be seen whether the power needs of the main building, where the air-conditioned council hall is housed, can be run on solar power.

The Corporation hopes to rope in organisations like Agency for Non Conventional Energy and Rural Technology for assessing the feasibility of the project and drawing up a plan, he said.

Replacing conventional lamps with power-saving LED lamps is also under consideration. The nearly 45,000 street lights powered by the Board cost the corporation much. Though a large number of the street lights are dead, the civic authorities do not have the exact figures. The absence of power meters for assessing the consumption has also been worrying the civic authorities.

Earlier, there was an attempt to carry out a joint inspection by the two agencies to take stock of live lamps.

There is also a proposal for getting instruments for gauging the power consumption of streetlights in the people’s plan project.

Survey of city

The entire city area needs to be surveyed for obtaining a clear picture on the number of lamp posts and its power requirements, he said.

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