According to reports, the cash-strapped Kochi corporation is planning to appoint an agency for preparing the detailed project report (DPR) for executing the solar city project. With the local body paying an annual electricity bill of about Rs 9 crore to KSEB, it is keen on starting the project in the current fiscal. The DPR is expected to cost Rs 10 lakh, which will be funded by the Centre.
“The civic body has identified an agency for preparing the report. For ensuring transparency, the details will be presented before the council meeting to be held this month,” said town planning committee chairman K J Sohan. The civic body has already constituted a stakeholders’ committee and core committee for executing the project.
The project aims to install solar panels to power streetlights and major administrative offices of the corporation. Prior to the tariff hike announced by KSEB, the civic body paid between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 40 lakh as power charges on a monthly basis. “Now, the charges have gone up to Rs 75 lakh a month. By completely implementing the project we can reduce power tariff to between Rs 2-3 crore,” he said.
Meanwhile, the corporation has also claimed that they would take up the project to convert all streetlights in the city into energy-efficient light emitting diode (LED) lamps. Since the project is to be carried out under the annuity scheme they have approached Kitco to draft terms and conditions for tendering the project. There are around 45,000 streetlights in Kochi. The high quality LED streetlights are expected to save 50 to 65% energy compared to high pressure sodium street lamps.
The corporation has started installing LED lights between Thevara and Vathuruthy near Naval Base. “This is being done on an experimental basis. The government has given us the 100 LED lights,” said Sohan.