The civic body has decided to appoint three contractors — one each for the Western and Eastern suburbs and the island city — to provide solar-empowered streetlights to lit up city roads.
The Rs 6-crore proposal will be tabled before the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) standing committee on Wednesday.
If approved by the standing committee, 24 wards of the city will be divided in three sectors where the solar lights will be installed. “If the proposal is passed, we should see the plan executed in three or four months time,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Engineering) P Charankar.
The BMC had started installing solar-powered streetlights in several parts of the city two years ago through local contractors. However, noting the growing demand, it now plans to rope in contractors solely for this purpose.
“There are areas in and around the city that cannot be electrified by conventional means as electrical cables cannot be laid there and in those streets the solar lighting is a boon,” added Charankar.
“The manufacturers are expected to be approved by the Ministry of Natural Energy and must have the approval of Environmental Research Training Laboratories,” said a civic official, requesting anonymity.
These streetlights will function on Light Emitting Diode (LED). The LED light system will be controlled by solar sensors, which are considered to be an effective mechanism to save electricity. The bulbs emit light at night and switch off automatically during the day.
For now, the civic body will implement it on narrow lanes, small pathways or compounds. “The initial cost of setting up a solar streetlight is about Rs 30,000 per pole, every 10 m. But maintenance is low,” said a civic official.
The solar lights will help reduce the civic body’s electricity bill by 20 to 30 per cent.
There are already 430 solar-run streetlights across Mumbai, a majority of them in the Western suburbs.