Cashless Palike to slash its power bills

Shocked by its monthly electricity bill of Rs eight crore, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike has decided to put a cap on its electricity consumption.

The Palike, which is desperate to overcome its poor financial situation, has found out that there is scope to reduce its electricity bill by at least Rs two crore.

The excess power consumption came to light when the engineer-in-chief of Palike, B T Ramesh, summoned a meeting recently. He was shocked to note that every month Palike pays Rs eight crore as electricity bill to the Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom).

His subordinates told him in the meeting that the Palike’s electrical load is 65 mega watt and the power consumption is 1.92 crore units.

Streetlights, the culprit

Ramesh was told that one of the main reasons for heavy power consumption was streetlights, which are kept on even during the day in many parts of the City. “There is no set time for switching the streetlights on and off,” the staff said.

Sources in the Palike said presently there are 15,000 switches for streetlights and only 70 per cent of the switches are automated while the remaining are manual. If the Palike could shift to automatic switches, it would reduce power consumption by 1.43 lakh units, which would save at least Rs two crore.

The civic agency has entrusted the maintenance of streetlights to private contractors. They are responsible for changing streetlights and for turning them on and off at stipulated times.

The Palike has now decided to take complaints about the streetlights burning during the day seriously, and would impose a penalty of Rs 50,000 on the contractor. It has also appealed to the people to refrain from drawing power from electricity poles and cooperate with the Palike in its drive to save public money.

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