The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike`s ambitious LED street light project continues to be hindered by delays. The work on what was touted as the [biggest street light project in the country" is yet to begin.
The delay is being attributed to the Model Code of Conduct that was in place ahead of the parliamentary elections in May this year.
Senior officials in the civic body told The Hindu that work order to replace the nearly 4.85 lakh sodium vapour lights with LED had been issued to an agency in February. The switch would help the civic body achieve energy savings, that will translate into reduction in spending on electricity charges.
However, before the sodium vapour lights can be replaced, a baseline assessment of the existing lights is essential. [A chartered engineering firm must be chosen to take up this baseline assessment. We had floated tenders for the same. Four vendors participated, of whom two were shortlisted. It has been sent to the State government for approval," sources said.
The tenders for the baseline assessment amount to around ₹6 crore and work can be taken up only after government approval. [The files pertaining to the shortlisted vendors were sent to the State government around a month ago. As soon as the government accords approval, we will issue the work order to the select vendor to take up the survey immediately," sources said.
[The timeline for the project is three years. By 2021, all the 4.85 lakh street lights will be replaced with LED," said the source, and added that the International Financial Corporation, a sister concern of the World Bank, was the transactional advisor for the project, which was estimated at ₹560 crore.
₹12 crore a month
The civic body spends ₹12 crore every month as electricity charges on street lights. Once the sodium vapour lights are replaced, the power bills may come down by at least ₹4 crore. [It is a win-win for the BBMP, as we will not be spending on capital investment and we will be paying less towards electricity charges. The agency will recover the capital investment from the energy savings and pay the rest to the BBMP," an official said.
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