Kolkota in India Launches Solar Lighting Project in Slums, Southern Indian City to Roll out Large Street Light Project

The Indian government is launching a large scale lighting project valuing INR 10 billion (US $150 million) subsidies to provide affordable solar lights to families living in poverty in Kolkata, India, reported The Economic Times.

The ministry of new and renewable energy has allocated INR 5 billion for the two-year project, and another INR 5 billion is under the 2-year project, and government authorities are considering whether to set aside another INR 5 billion, said S P Gon Chaudhuri, Chairman of Kolkata-based Renewable Energy College that invented the solar powered lights.

The light is installed on rooftops and during the day it channels sunlight into rooms without windows, using a special dome and a reflective cylinder.

At night, the solar-powered lighting device runs on LED bulbs that are charged with solar panels in homes, and families living in poverty can buy the lights for INR 1,100 after subsidy.

The prices for the device can be driven down to INR 600, if another INR 5 billion subsidy falls through, said Chaudhuri.

The solar powered LED lights can provide light during night, and light up homes for 17 hours during the summer and at least 13 hours during winters.

About 30 companies from 13 Indian states have shown interest in manufacturing the product, and are being trained in manufacturing the micro solar dome.

The government will be collaborating with state agencies and NGOs working in slums to initially distribute 10 million of the solar LED lights in two years.

Under the pilot project for the scheme, Kolkota has distributed a few thousand of the gadgets at slums in Mumbai’s Pawai area, slums in Delhi, Guwahati, Tripura and Kolkota.

The Renewable Energy College is also working to develop a new model of the solar-powered LED light that can be plugged into a grid at night for shanties to have access to power supply sources.

Thiruvananthapuram city authorities signs LED streetlight agreement with SIDCO

A city located in Southern India State of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram, is close to signing an agreement with SIDCO to replace 84,000 streetlights with LEDs after a postponement of nearly two years, reported The Hindu.

The streetlight project that was delayed was plagued with postponements and controversies, while recent discussions were over a few clauses of the agreement that the local body objected to.

 “One of the clauses was that the Corporation will have to shell out money for repairs in case the street light is damaged after being hit by a vehicle. The Corporation stuck to its position that it will spend money only for damage caused by natural calamities. The SIDCO has agreed to this and a few other changes. The agreement is expected to be signed soon since much of the differences have been ironed out,” said an official of the Corporation’s engineering department.

The large scale LED streetlight replacement project will rely on GPS survey of existing streetlights across all 100 wards of the Corporation that will be used for a database to track faults and channel repair works.

SIDCO will buy back existing fluorescent streetlights, and some suggested the old streetlights to nearby village councils (panchayats).

Once the agreement with SIDCO is signed, the LED streetlight installations are expected to be finished within nine months. Delays in the city streetlight installations, has caused the city government to call for tenders for maintenance and replacement of fluorescent lights twice this year.

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