As a tribute to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 71st birth anniversary, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Thursday launched an energy efficient streetlight project.
The (light emitting diode) LED-based scheme to replace 63,484 lights in 56 urban development bodies has been named as Rajiv Gandhi Illuminating Scheme for Hill Town Advancement (RISHTA).
The state urban development department has started the scheme in collaboration with the EESL (Energy Efficient Services Ltd), a central government venture.
Under the scheme, the EESL will initially invest in installing LEDs and the fixtures. The investment will be paid back by the civic bodies in seven years from the energy and cost savings that accrue with the installation of LEDs.
The chief minister said the scheme would be launched immediately in Shimla, Dharamsala, Sundernagar, Paonta Sahib, Hamirpur, Ghumarwin and Manali towns.
He said the LEDs would help saving 45 to 55 percent energy, enabling a saving of Rs.3.20 crore annually.
“The total savings in a year in terms of operation and maintenance would be around Rs.6.5 crore,” he said.
Himachal Pradesh Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma said the state has become the front-runner to have this kind of innovative approach to move urban areas towards smart governance.