The Chennai Corporation will kick-start a massive programme next week to improve lighting in the city, with the focus on replacement of around 60,000 streetlights. It will install 25,000 solar-powered streetlights in eight new zones.
At a meeting on Thursday, the Chennai Corporation decided to replace tubelights and mercury vapour lamps with energy-saving lights such as induction lamps, LED lights and compact fluorescent lamps.
The first part of the tender to replace old tubelights in added areas will be released next week. The initiative is expected to bring down the level of energy consumption by 25 per cent and save 36 lakh units in the coming year.
Hours of darkness in 426 sq km of the city are tackled by just 2.2 lakh streetlights, which are found to be inadequate in many of the expanded areas with just 88,000 old streetlights. After expansion, the Chennai Corporation was able to bring down the percentage of not-burning streetlights in the eight added zones to 5.4 per cent. The number of such streetlights is estimated to be around 4,752. To temporarily overcome this problem in added areas, the civic body will purchase 5,000 streetlights through the ongoing tender process.
Even though roads in seven zones ie. Tondiarpet, Royapuram, Thiru-Vi-Ka-Nagar, Anna Nagar, Teynampet, Kodambakkam and Adyar of old city limits have superior illumination with a very low percentage of ‘not-burning' streetlights, darkness prevails in many stretches in many of the added areas because of the continuation of the old system of illumination adopted by many panchayats earlier.
The Corporation's norm of a minimum of 25 metre distance between two adjacent streetlights is being violated in zones such as Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Ambattur, Valasaravakkam, Alandur, Perungudi and Sholinganallur.
The Chennai Corporation has planned to erect new poles in such areas.Existing streetlights fixed on Reinforced Cement Concrete poles in added areas would be replaced according to the norms of the Chennai Corporation. The civic body has started locating new dark spots on stretches.
A smart street lighting system would also be installed across the city to monitor defects in streetlights from a control room and take remedial measures at the earliest. Most of the new streetlights are likely to be induction lamps as they last for five years and are easy to maintain and replace.