Mounting electricity bill worries civic body

The City Municipal Corporation is in a fix over the increase in electricity consumption charges as it had paid Rs. 30 crore to the Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Corporation (Tangedco) for 2014-15.

The corporation incurs Rs. 15.09 crore as electricity consumption charges for the Mettur — Salem Dedicated Water Supply Scheme that supplies 102 million litres per day (MLD) to the city. Similarly, for the Nangavalli — Salem Old Water Supply Scheme that supplies 10 MLD to the city, it incurs Rs. 4.26 crore every year. There are more than 28,000 street lights, power usages at central office, zonal offices and ward offices in the corporation limits that come about Rs. 10.61 crore every year. But increasing power consumption is posing a burden on the civic body that is reeling under financial crisis.

Of the total 28,690 street lights, only 95 lights are powered by solar energy. As many as 6,975 street lights in Ammapet and Kondalampatti zones would be converted soon into LED by a private company. However, once Phase II of the dedicated water supply scheme is over, the power consumption would increase by 20 per cent and thus the civic body has to bear the additional cost.

Corporation officials told The Hindu that proposals has been sent to Commissionerate of Municipal Administration for converting 28,094 street lights into LED and another 1,455 lights would have switch facilities for automatic control. “It would help in reduction of 40 per cent of power consumption. The project is to be implemented at a cost of Rs. 2,037 lakh,” they added. Also, the civic body has proposed to go for renewable energy at a cost of Rs. 52 lakh. “About 52 kilo watts of power would be produced and supplied to nine corporation buildings,” they added.

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