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Chennai Corporation plans solar bus shelters to save power

According to reports, in a bid to reduce power consumption, Corporation of Chennai has proposed to build solar bus shelters on major arterial roads. Officials said the solar-powered bus shelters will also have charging points for mobile phones.

A senior corporation official said: “Some bus shelters in the city have at least 20 tubelights. These consume a lot of power. To cut back on power consumption, we are considering solar-powered bus shelters on arterial roads.”

Officials said they are yet to finalise locations for the proposed solar bus shelters. “The plan is only in its initial stage. We are also studying solar bus shelters which were introduced in Trichy.”

Solar bus shelters were also introduced in New Delhi. However, the concept of solar bus shelters is yet to be common in the state. In Trichy, P Kumar, AIADMK MP had sanctioned Rs 99.70 lakh for 18 modern bus shelters and solar power lights from his Member of Parliament Local Area Development Fund. Each bus shelter was constructed at Rs 4.5 lakh. The fibre glasses on the roof of the bus shelters will produce about 200 watts power.

Commuters have welcomed the move. Ram Kumar, a commuters, said: “Many companies use extra tubelights to get a good display for their advertisements. The civic body’s plan to come up with solar bus shelters will definitely reduce power consumption.”

Under the civic body’s public private partnership plan for the modernised bus shelters, it allows advertising firms to build shelters and sell advertising space for 20 years. The selected firms, from the revenue earned through advertising, were supposed to pay the corporation an annual 1.5 lakh.

However, the corporation’s plan to modernise 1,024 bus stops and create seating facilities, hand-rails and dustbin is stuck in litigation. The civic body had managed to get tenders to set up 490 shelters. But a few firms who were earlier managing the shelters, had approached the Madras high court and got a stay order.

The civic body has also decided to install solar panels in corporation schools, hospitals and replace street tubelights in corporation’s extended areas with energy-saving solar and LED lamps.

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