LED streetlight project finally takes off

The city has nearly five lakh streetlights.   | Photo Credit: K_MURALI_KUMAR

The ambitious plan of replacing the city’s nearly five lakh streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights is finally beginning to take off. The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had announced the project in 2018 with the expectation of completing it by 2021.

Under the first phase, one lakh streetlights will be replaced. The fitting of the new lights is expected to begin by December 2020. The consortium that had bagged the global tender had been directed to complete Phase 1 of the project by April 2020, but that deadline has long passed.

Last week, BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad held a meeting with officials and fixed new deadlines. He told The Hindu that the survey of 65,690 streetlights in Rajarajeshwarinagar, Bommanahalli and Dasarahalli zones has been completed. “The survey in the rest of the zones is likely to be completed in another 20 days,” he said, adding that officials have been directed to take Bengaluru Electricity Supply Company (BESCOM) on board for the survey, infrastructure work and rate contract to be floated by the BBMP.

Though the Letter of Intent was issued to the consortium in 2019, the actual work began in June this year. The International Financial Corporation, a sister concern of the World Bank, is the transactional advisor for the project.

Earlier this year, former BBMP commissioner B.H. Anil Kumar had stated that the civic body would recommend to the State government to cancel the global tender since the work was yet to be taken up.

Admitting that this indeed was the case, Mr. Prasad said some approvals were holding up the work. “All the necessary approvals have been issued and the work has begun,” he said.

The civic body spends ₹12 crore on an average every month on streetlights. The project was conceived with the aim of reducing the expenditure on electricity.

The consortium has assured 84.5% energy efficiency.

“It is a win-win for BBMP, which will not be spending on capital investment. The consortium will pay the BBMP 20% of the energy savings and retain the rest towards recovering capital investment. It is also obliged to maintain and operate the LED streetlights for the next 10 years,” Mr. Prasad added.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 1:18:45 PM |

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