By BizLED Bureau
Mar 17, 2016: The cultural capital of India, Varanasi, is facing unexpected delays as the proposed plan to replace the existing 33,000 streetlights with power-efficient light emitting diodes (LEDs) has not been completed yet. The city is the constituency of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the plan is miles away from its proposed completion date.
UP government took the responsibility for the project with Central government, in association with New Delhi-based Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL). The Union minister of state for power and coal Piyush Goyal dedicated the high mast LED lighting system for the holy city in June last year. He announced that bright yellow sodium vapour lamps at Ganga ghats and also street lights across the city would be replaced with LED lights within three months.
EESL was assigned the work of replacement and over 1,200 lights have been installed at the 84-odd ghats. But the project is not moving ahead aggressively as merely 1,500 lights have been replaced till date, with energy efficient LEDs across the city. There are various complaints from citizens across the city regarding dysfunctional LEDs, which were recently installed.
Municipal corporation officials have agreed to the fact that several LED bulbs in the street lights are not working soon after their replacement. However, no efforts were made to replace those faulty lights until PM Narendra Modi or some VIPs are visiting the city, said one of the residents. EESL planned to meet the cost of replacing old street lights with LED and the Varanasi Municipal Corporation (VMC) will part from savings in energy and maintenance cost to repay EESL over a five-seven years span.
The additional municipal commissioner stated that there was no official agreement signed between VMC and EESL after LED street light project was announced. EESL started the process of replacing old lights with LEDs and agreed for replacement and maintenance work for a period of seven years. Considering the slow pace of work was slow, it was decided by municipal authorities to initiate a tender process for LED light installation. Once the corporation receives a substantial quote from a shortlisted LED company, we will take the process forward to complete the project soon.