“Improvements in quality of life, as well as quality of light”: Indian officials outline LED expansion plans

Reading time: 5 minutes
5 August 2014

In an insightful interview, Shyamsundar Patil, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Thane Municipal Corporation, Mumbai, India and Sunil D. Pote, Dy City Engineer (Elect), Thane Municipal Corporation, Mumbai, India speak about their collaboration with The Climate Group, building confidence among the stakeholders on LED (light-emitting diode) street lighting and outline their plans for future expansion.

- Considering the success of the LED street lighting pilot project, what are your future plans for energy efficiency lighting in Mumbai?

Well the LED pilot project which The Climate Group facilitated was successful - through our own funding we replaced approximately 5,000 sodium vapor lamps with LED lights. Based on this we are now undertaking a project with ESCO, an energy service company, with whom we will be replacing 10,000 LED street lamps. Although there will be no initial upfront investment, whatever pitchers we install will be repaired with our own savings.

- What do you have to say about The Climate Group’s role as a facilitator in the LED pilot project in Thane?

The Climate Group’s contribution in installing LED street lighting has been significant. Initially, like other Municipal Corporations we were not aware of LED lighting technology, however, after discussing proposals with The Climate Group we were encouraged and enlightened.

For instance, The Climate Group’s LED team advised that we were eligible for funding from Bureau of Energy Efficiency. They not only supported the idea but also further helped us in sharing the data and preparing the estimate, specification, testing procedures etc.

The Thane Municipal Corporation has now taken pioneering initiatives in LED street lighting which have not only improved the quality of light in Thane, but also become a part of Thane’s identity in its own right.

- What according to you are the challenges which must be overcome to ensure LEDs have a large-scale reach? 

Considering the benefits of LED Street lighting was relatively unknown, we had to initially sensitize all the stakeholders in Thane, Mumbai. We were able to do this by highlighting the pilot project which was conducted in association with The Climate Group. Through reference to this pilot project, we were able to show the proven cost savings as well as the improvements in quality of life as well as quality of light.

In the beginning some people were apprehensive that LEDs would have some bad effect on their lives. However, gradually with performance, this mentality has shifted. In fact, the situation has drastically changed in favor of LEDs, so much so that other corporations are insisting that sodium vapor lamps in their localities need to be replaced with cost effective LED street lamps. 

However, stakeholders did express a number of reservations namely whether the LED being a semi-conductor device would fail in extreme weather conditions, whether it was it suitable for foggy light, or safe for the expressway because the stakeholders felt the visibility and contrast was poor in white light.

But we looked into these doubts, tested them for three seasons and found absolutely no problem with the LED lights. We are very confident about the replacement of the 10,000 LED street lights and we hope to complete this project by the end of this year. 

India LED working group

From left to right: Mr. Sunil D. Pote, Dy City Engineer (Elect), Thane Municipal Corporation, Mumbai, Mr. Shyamsundar Patil, Additional Municipal Commissioner, Thane Municipal Corporation, Mumbai, Ms. Aditi Dass and Mr. Jay Shiv, Consultants with The Climate Group India

The views and opinions expressed in this interview are solely those of the invited guests. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of The Climate Group.

Related news:

Interview by Anisha Laming, Communications Manager, The Climate Group India

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