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Tamil Nadu declines Union Govt LED scheme, goes ahead with own plan

Tamil Nadu declines Union Govt LED scheme, goes ahead with own plan

By BizLED Bureau

Feb 15, 2016: Tamil Nadu government has declined an offer from the Union government to participate in an LED installation scheme. Instead, it has implemented its own scheme of installing 30,000 LED streetlights in Chennai at a cost of Rs 145.67 crore. Greater Chennai Corporation officials had a detailed discussion over the proposed matter and it approved the project without any further discussion.

LEDs are considered to be 50% more energy efficient than sodium vapour lamps. They have an average lifespan of more than 50,000 hours, compared to the 5,000 hours of sodium vapour lamps.

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The Union government is currently running Energy Efficiency Services Limited(EESL), a joint venture of four central power sector undertakings, to install LED streetlights in Indian states. A top executive from the said domain stated that the total expenditure would have been just 37 crore, for which they would not have charged the corporation as Union government is already working on it. Moreover, EESL’s earning would have been 80% of the projected savings which the corporation will make from the switchover to LED lights in seven years.

Experts are further questioning the corporation’s move to give tenders to local contractors instead of availing the Energy Services Company (ESCO) model. A former member of Tamil Nadu Electricity Regulatory Commission stated that Union government’s LED scheme ensured transparency in the project but State did not show any interest and passed such a huge project. There are areas of suspicion and concerned authorities must look into it.

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An official in the corporation council department said close to 80 tenders related to the LED project were categorised as `table agendas’ a few minutes before the council meeting.

Few cities like South Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Visakhapatnam and Jaipur have installed LED streetlights under the Energy Services Company (ESCO) model. This has led to annual bill and maintenance charges to come down from `31 crore to `10 crore.

Officials at Greater Chennai Corporation have sighted that the current project would benefit the corporation in the long run as compared to Union government’s scheme which is implemented on a profit-sharing basis.

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