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Bangalore discom bats for solar street lighting

According to reports, in attempt to tide over the current energy crisis, the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company Limited (BESCOM) has warned to stop power supply for new street lights unless at least 50 per cent of them are run by solar energy. In an letter to the additional chief secretary to the government, BESCOM has suggested that the government should recommend the same with Urban Development Department, Rural Development Department and Panchayat Raj.

In the recent times, the state government was spending huge amount of money to purchase power. The letter reads, “Time and again BESCOM is receiving complaints on the street lights on two issues: Street lights are not switched-off after a day’s break, thereby wasting energy. Street lights are turned off during load shedding, which were leading to anti-social and illegal activities in the city. As per the regulations of KERC, BESCOM has no control over consumers. BESCOM seeks help of the government to bring government’s order on the following lines: BESCOM will not provide power to the street lights, unless they were monitored and maintained by automatic switching system. Whenever automatic system was not working, then BESCOM will levy penalty, which will be double the tariff. For new street lights, BESCOM will not provide power supply unless at least 50 per cent of them were run by solar energy.”

BESCOM managing director P Manivannan told Express that they have recommended the government to install solar street lights on alternate streets, so that there is no blackout in the area during power cut.

He said most of the automatic traffic signal lights in the city run on solar energy, as a result, there was no chaos even during power cuts. Initially, the BBMP has to invest on solar street lights but will save crores of rupees subsequently. The same thing holds good for all urban local bodies, Zilla, Taluk and Gram Panchayats, which spend a major portion of funds on electricity bill.

One comment

  1. It is heartening to learn that Govt. of Karnataka and BESCOM are going to promote solar street lights in a big way. However, before the decision is taken it will make sense in revisiting the performance of the solar lights installed in the last couple of years. One has to visit these sites like the flyovers/magic boxes on the major roads of city where several solar street lights are not working. The authroities need to find out the reasons for the lights not functioning- is it a quality / specification problem,or is it bad selection of site(no sunlight) or poor maintenance?

    Prakash Magal

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