Two years after payment, Chandigarh’s LED project a non-starter

  • Hillary Victor, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jun 15, 2015 08:38 IST

It is more than two years since the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) paid Rs 1 crore to the UT electricity department to replace streetlights with light emitting diodes (LEDs) in Sectors 20 to 25, 29 to 32 and 34 to 38, besides Dhanas, Maloya and Manimajra villages, but the project remains a non-starter.

While the project was mooted in March 2013, the work to install the LEDs has now been given to the electrical department, which has decided to begin with a pilot project in Sector 29.

Superintending engineer (electrical), UT administration, said, “We have prepared a detailed notice inviting tenders (DNIT) for the pilot project in Sector 29. We are hopeful of floating the tenders within two weeks. Later, we will initiate the process in other sectors as well.”

On being asked as to why the project was delayed, he said the project was with the electricity department and it was only last month that it has been given to the electrical department.

One of the problems, HT has learnt, is that the distance between fixed poles might have to be reworked to ensure that the street is lit uniformly. A senior MC official said, “It is unfortunate that the UT administration officials have not done anything to date. The issue will be taken up with the officials.”

Former city mayor Subhash Chawla, who had mooted the proposal, said even as LEDs’ inventors got last year’s Nobel Prize, Chandigarh’s move to adopt the technology has made no progress. The decision was taken after the UPA government had directed that shift towards energy-efficient technology and LEDs would reduce the electricity bills by 70%.

Interestingly, the MC even made provisions in 2014-15 budget to install LEDs.

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