MANGALORE: Mangalore City Corporation is taking a major step to reduce its power bill, which is estimated at Rs 17.5 crore per annum. The civic body incurs expenditure on power for streetlights, water supply and treatment plants, and sewage treatment plants. It has taken up energy audit and savings for these areas as priority, and will roll out energy conservation plan for them starting with streetlights along city's major thoroughfare.
MCC on a pilot basis has selected streetlights on the stretch from PVS junction to Lady Hill under the plan as far as streetlights are concerned. Technological solution provided by SMS Technology, Bangalore will ensure that alternate streetlights on this stretch glow after 10 pm, and lights are switched on and off at pre-determined time, without human intervention. The success of this experiment will determine its replication elsewhere.
K N Vijayaprakash, commissioner, MCC told TOI that street lighting system across the city could change if the above project yielded desired results. "We will replace sodium vapour lamps with compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), and even switch over to light emitting diodes (LED)," he said, adding the LED option, although entails one time heavy investment, consumes around 50 per cent less power that traditional lighting solutions.
Another area that the corporation has paid attention to is replacing its pumps at Thumbay water pumping station. "These pumps too are energy efficient and will enable us to bring down our power consumption," Vijayaprakash said. Sewage treatment plants too consume lot of energy, and efforts are on to make them power self-reliant by utilising the methane gas generated there for power production and also commercially exploiting the sludge.
The sludge left over after treating the sewage is good manure and even this too can be exploited commercially. Low cost technology is available to convert the methane generated in to power and this can help in considerably reducing the power cost at the STP, he said adding that efforts are on to woo interested firms, who have the expertise in this area. There is scope to commercially exploit excess methane available, he noted.
Efforts are underway to get special purpose vehicle (SPV) mooted with Mangalore SEZ Ltd for maintenance of STPs, functional. The civic body incurs annual maintenance cost of Rs 30 lakh on a STP, he said, adding MCC will push for early operationalisation of the SPV at its board of directors meeting to be held on July 6. It is too early to quantify overall savings these steps would bring, but the same should be substantial, he noted.