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BBMP to replace 4.85 lakh street lights without spending a paisa

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The Hindu          18.12.2017   

BBMP to replace 4.85 lakh street lights without spending a paisa

The investment will have to be made by the private company that bags the contract

If all goes according to plan, by 2019 all streets in Bengaluru will be brightly lit up with LED lights, which will be replacing the power-consuming sodium vapour lamps. And guess what, while reducing power consumption and thereby the power bill by more than half of its present level, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) would be investing nothing on the project.

The private company that will bag the contract will have to invest and replace around 4.85 lakh sodium vapour street lights, but will recoup their investment over the next 10 years, taking a majority share (75%) of the amount of power dues that is saved. BBMP will benefit from a reduced power bill (the remaining 25%).

Every month, the BBMP pays Rs. 12 crore for street lights. What will be the power bill with LED lights? Around Rs. 6 crore.

“The sharing will go on for 10 years, during which time the company will also maintain the lights,” said BBMP Commissioner N. Manjunath Prasad, adding that BBMP's spending on the power bill will effectively reduce to Rs. 10.5 crore. The civic body will also save Rs. 30 crore per annum on maintenance.

International Financial Corporation (IFC), a sister concern of World Bank, has been roped in as a consultant for what is being termed the 'biggest street light project' in the country. IFC has already set the ball rolling and has begun a survey of the entire city and its lighting needs. While BBMP has around 4.85 lakh street lights, the survey will also identify areas which need street lights. Following the survey, it will prepare a bid document and tenders will be floated.

Multiple companies are expected to bid for the project now estimated to cost Rs. 560 crore, with a single LED bulb costing around Rs. 10,000. The IFC will assist the BBMP in the process of selecting the best bid. The basic selection criteria would be the amount of energy the company can guarantee saving. The selected company, and not the BBMP, will be paying the IFC for its service.

“The project is based on the energy saving model, which is being undertaken on a smaller scale in Bhubaneswar in Odisha and Jaipur in Rajasthan. Right now, the city has problems regarding sufficient lighting. While some streets have lights, they are either not functioning or are not bright enough. Some areas don't have any illumination. The project will cover the entire city and the lights will be controlled by the central control room of the BBMP,” said Mr. Prasad.


IRC standards ‘not mandatory’ for building flyovers, claims BBMP

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The Hindu         06.12.2017  

IRC standards ‘not mandatory’ for building flyovers, claims BBMP

It justifies 4.5 m vertical clearance for the proposed steel flyover

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on Tuesday claimed before the High Court of Karnataka that Indian Road Congress (IRC) standards were not mandatory for construction of flyovers and the standards specified could be altered depending upon local requirement.

BBMP’s counsel made this submission before a Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice H.G. Ramesh and Justice P.S. Dinesh Kumar during the hearing on a public interest litigation petition challenging the legality of construction of a steel flyover at Shivananda Circle in the city for various factors, including for not complying to the IRC standards.

Justifying the 4.5 m vertical clearance below the proposed flyover at the Shivananda junction, it was contended on behalf of the BBMP that a minimum vertical clearance of 5.5 m as per the IRC standards cannot be provided as the existing railway underpass nearby does not permit increasing the length of the flyover to provide 5.5 m vertical clearance and the corresponding gradient.

Meanwhile, counsel for the petitioner claimed that construction of a flyover at Shivananda Circle has no logic when the IRC standards cannot be applied keeping in mind the safety of road users, and cited a report, given by an expert on road engineering to the petitioners, in support of this claim.

However, counsel for the BBMP claimed that the flyover would not cause any hardship to road users or motorists, and added that the design of the flyover had been certified by experts from the Indian Institute of Science.

The Bench adjourned hearing till Wednesday while stating that the court was anxious to know whether allowing the flyover sans IRC standards would be in public interest or not. The court asked counsel for the BBMP and the petitioner about possibility of securing a report from an independent expert about the safety aspect of the present design of the flyover.


Storm water drains ineffective as rain leaves city under water

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The Hindu        18.09.2017  

Storm water drains ineffective as rain leaves city under water

Roadways turn waterways:Stadium Junction (left) and Mavoor Road (right), two main points in Kozhikode city where storm water drains were set up, were left inundated in the rain on Sunday.S. Ramesh KurupS_RAMESHKURUP  

Rs. 15-crore project was expected to solve problem of constant waterlogging in the heart of the city

The much hyped storm water drainage system set up in Kozhikode over a year ago seems to have had little effect, going by the flooding witnessed in the heart of the city, following heavy rain on Saturday and Sunday. Mavoor Road and Stadium Junction, two main points where storm water drains were set up, were left inundated in the rain.

Traffic hit

Traffic was disrupted across the city due to heavy rain and flooding. People were seen wading through water overflowing from drains.

The Rs. 15-crore storm water drain project was expected solve the constant waterlogging in the heart of the city.

Waterlogging in the mofussil bus stand junction has always been a headache for the Kozhikode Corporation and the traffic police for decades. The storm water drain project was executed specifically to solve this problem.

The 50-year-old drainage system in the city was unable to handle the volume of water during the monsoon. New pipelines, designed in consultation with the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management, with enough capacity to accommodate the water, were laid under the roads as part of the project.

Road work

It took the Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP) almost two years to dig up half of Mavoor Road and several other roads in the city to implant pipes that could carry the rainwater straight to Connolly Canal. The junction was partially blocked in April 2016 for almost a month to construct the connection between the separate pipelines.

The drainage system has been connected to the existing drain under the Nayanar Flyover so that water could be discharged into the Connolly Canal near Arayadathupalam.

Work on the storm water drain was completed by the end of 2016, but parts of the city continued to be flooded, during the onset of monsoon in June.

Mayor Thottathil Raveendran had clarified at the time that the corporation was in the process of clearing the silt from the drains and that it would be opened into the Connolly Canal the next day. “Soon the drain will be functional and there will be no more waterlogging on Mavoor Road,” the Mayor had said.

However, the situation continues to be the same three months later.

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