VISAKHAPATNAM: Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) is planning to set up 10,000 solar streetlights in the city. Once that happens, Vizag will be the first city in the country to have the highest number of solar street lamps, thus contributing to environmental protection in its own way.
GVMC’s electrical wing is preparing a detailed project report in this regard, which will be placed before the council for approval. The estimated cost of the project will be around Rs. 20 crore. The lamps will be set up along the beach road, covering nearly 10 km from the Fishing Harbour junction to Visalakshinagar beach. Areas to come under solar street lighting include RK beach, Kursura Submarine Museum, The Park Road Junction, VMRDA Park, Tenneti Park and Appughar.
Confirming this project proposal to Deccan Chronicle, a senior GVMC official said, “In fact, the project was first proposed in December 2020. But it could not move forward due to various reasons, including Covid-19 and elections to GVMC. Now, we are on the job of preparing a fresh project report to place it before the council led by the mayor.”
Once the mayor approves the project, its implementation will gather momentum. The corporation can approach corporate entities for funding, said the GVMC officer, who does not want to be quoted.
At present, a pilot solar street lamp project is being taken up under the Smart City Mission in Pandurangapuram and surrounding areas. But it is not linked to GVMC's project, the officer added.
The corporation spends nearly Rs. 2 crore a month to pay its electricity bills, including those of its offices and street lights. Nearly 30–40 percent of power charges are for street lights. The corporation is responsible for nearly 1.2 lakh street lights in the city from Anakapalli to Bheemili, catering to the needs of nearly 25 lakh population.
When DC brought this solar street light project to the notice of GVMC mayor Golagani Hari Venkata Kumari, she said “I have so far not received any file regarding this project from my officials. However, I will discuss it with technical experts and council members to check the possibility of implementing the solar streetlight project.”