THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After years of uncertainty, all the wards in the Corporation will be lighted up with LED lights in 2018. The civic body has begun the task of replacing the unserviceable lights in each ward with LED bulbs. Each ward is likely to get around 200 LED bulbs. Though the earlier plan was to provide 400 bulbs, the number was cut down to 200.“We have started supplying LED bulbs. The first phase of replacement will start in January. 20,000 LED bulbs will be installed in this phase,” said Mayor V K Prasanth.
KSEB has been entrusted with the task of installing these lights. Corporation has paid Rs 9 crore for the project. It plans to replace at least 50 per cent of the streetlights with LED. Corporation has already purchased close to 6,000 LED bulbs to replace the street lights. The initiative has been implemented in select wards.However, it is yet to get a proper count on the number of street lights in the city. A survey team comprising students from ITI, Chakai has been deployed to conduct the survey, said the chairperson of Public Works Standing Committee, Shafeera Beegum.
The survey picked up momentum after the council saw protests over the issue of high mast lights. Energy in-efficient high mast lights using sodium vapour lamps have been found to be a major drain on the Corporation coffers. The decision to purchase LED bulbs was taken in 2015 and the civic body had approved a proposal by Sidco. But the project got delayed. The indifferent attitude of Sidco and the delay in getting government’s approval resulted in the cancellation of the contract in August.
The Corporation then decided to purchase the bulbs from Kerala State Industrial Enterprises (KSIE). Introduction of GST delayed the project and rates had to be revised to accommodate the new tax.
The issue of street lights is something the corporation has not been able to properly address.
Faulty lights have been a regular complaint during the council meets. Council meetings saw acrimonious debates over the street lights. Opposition members alleged corruption when the faults become commonplace.The decision to switch to LED was taken as a permanent solution to the frequent faults and maintenance hassle. LED bulbs are considered to be cost-effective and energy efficient lighting system.