With an aim to counter the impacts of climate change, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has decided to reduce the carbon emission levels in the city by replacing all sodium and metal lights with LED ones.
This will also help the civic body to cut down its electricity expenses by a huge margin. The project would be done in various phases keeping in mind the cost of the project. It was learnt that the initial cost of installing LED lights is huge.
But once the LED lights are installed, they would reduce the cost and cut down the pollution level in the city.
According to a senior official of the KMC, the state government has agreed to provide the civic body an amount of Rs 40 crore for the implementation of the project. The KMC has to pay an annual bill for streetlights of around Rs 12 crore which can be brought down to Rs 4 crore annually, the official said.
The decision was taken by the KMC as the High Pressure Sodium Vapour(HPSV) lamp fittings or Metal Halide Fittings consume huge amount of electricity and their carbon emission level is very high. White LEDs that are used in streetlights consume less than half the energy than the sodium vapor lamps. Apart from being cost effective, there is a difference in the quality of light. LEDs produce white light and hence the clarity of the light produced by LEDs is better.
It may be mentioned here that KMC has taken lot of initiatives to reduce the emission of carbon in the city and is trying to develop Kolkata as a low carbon and carbon resilient city. Kolkata has become one of the first cities in the country to create a strategic policy towards lowering emissions of green house gasses. KMC had also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the UK government in which the latter has agreed to work together to help the civic body create a roadmap on how to fight air pollution. The UK government also consented to share expertise with the state government in this regard.
The KMC has a plan to gradually replace all the lights in its offices, health units, schools, compactor stations, markets, borough offices, ward health units, pumping stations and crematoria run by the KMC with LED lights. The total annual bill of all the establishments runs by the civic body stands at Rs 32 crore per year.
According to the official, the maintenance cost of a LED fitting is less as compared to the conventional HPSV fitting.
LED lights have a relatively longer life. What is most important is that unlike mercury vapour lamps, the LEDs do not contain toxic elements.