Kolkata of India to Install More LED Lights

Encouraged by the pilot LED project's success on four streets - Harish Mukherjee Road, S N Banerjee Road, New Park Street and Syed Amir Ali Avenue, Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has roped in Asian Development Bank (ADB) to foot major part of the Rs 50-crore bill to get more LED lights on major roads.

ADB has agreed to part-fund KMC's LED project in the first leg of phase II of the Kolkata Environment Improvement Project (KEIP).

From February, work on installing LED lights will begin in Bidhan Sarani, Vivekananda Road, Amherst Street, Loudon Street, Camac Street, Bondel Road, Ballygunge Circular Road, Gurusaday Road and Alipore Road, among other streets.

Work is expected to complete by July, said a KMC lighting department official. "Initially, we have decided to install 15,000 LED lights. It will cost us Rs 50 crore. Since we wanted to install environment-friendly lights, we opted for LED," said municipal commissioner Arnab Roy.

LED lights' energy efficiency drove KMC to opt for it. According to a senior KMC official, the new technology would save at least 40% energy.

According to an estimate, the KMC lighting department has to pay CESC Rs 4 crore every month for lighting around 2 lakh street lights. "Apart from lowering this bill, LED lights will last longer than conventional street lights. Going by an assurance from the multinational company, the new lights will have a 70,000 hour lifespan," said Manzar Iqbal, KMC's present member, mayor-in-council (lighting).

But there are also several problems to be settled. First, it costs around Rs 50,000 which is almost five times higher than existing streetlights. Secondly, the KMC has to be choosy about installing LED in some major thoroughfares where vehicles ply at a high speed. Thirdly, the KMC employees need training on the new technology.

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