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NAB clears LED lights project for capital city

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) has received a go ahead by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for the implementation of Rs6.5 billion light emitting diode (LED) project for Islamabad.

The project came to spotlight after Transparency International raised objection on the project following NAB got involved. However, NAB has now cleared the project, an official of the CDA told The News from Islamabad.

He said total cost of the project is Rs6.524 billion out of which CDA would spend only Rs1.631 billion while rest of the Rs4.893 billion will be financed from the money that will be saved through reducing the energy consumption in the city after installing LED lights.

He said after the refusal of the Asian Development Bank to fund the project, the civic agency is now relying on its own resources to implement the project.

It may be recalled that the National Energy Conservation Centre (ENERCON), following the decisions of an energy summit held in 2010 in Islamabad, a letter to the Capital Development Authority (CDA) advising the latter to replace the city’s 65,000 conventional streetlights with that of LEDs thus reducing the city’s electricity bill by 50 percent.

The letter said: “We believe that systems like HID/LED lights can save approximately 8MW plus of electrical energy on an immediate basis in CDA’s street light load.” At present, the CDA’s energy consumption results in an annual electricity bill of around Rs1.2 to 1.4 billion, which is increasing gradually.

The CDA official said all rules and regulations of the Public Procurement Regulatory Authority (PPRA) had been followed to get approval of the project from the federal government and the whole process from approval to the award of the project to a private firm was carried out in a very transparent manner in the light of the laws of the land.

Earlier, the NAB, through a letter to the CDA chairman on February 2, 2012 sought a copy of the PC-I of the project, the related tender advertisements published in newspapers, and profiles of the potential contractors with the details of the recommendations of the civic agency’s technical committee.

After the detailed investigations, it was decided to incorporate NAB’s advice in all future agreements signed with stakeholders. With the execution of the project, the city’s 65,000 conventional streetlights will be replaced with that of LEDs and the CDA will be able to reduce more than half of its annual electricity bill.

The LED technology will also save the substantial replacement costs of conventional lights which are replaced after every one and a half years on average. On the other hand, the life of LEDs is 20 years (80,000 hours) and they are maintenance-free and environment-friendly.

With the shifting of existing conventional lights to LED lights, the cost of wiring in the new areas will also be reduced by 60 percent due to reduced load and the line losses will lessen because of the reduced flow of current. The technology has an inbuilt Intelligent Lighting Control System, which saves over 70 percent electricity.

After installing the LED lights in the city, a stock of 65000 conventional lights will be sold to Afghanistan and the negotiations in this regard between the two countries are under way.

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