Mumbai: Western Railway to replace fluorescent tubelights with LED ones

Decision taken keeping in mind high consumption of electricity; 500 LED tubelights have already been installed as part of pilot project at Mahalaxmi car shed earlier this month

A poorly maintained lighting system, which the Western Railway nonetheless spends heavily on, is a common feature in local trains. But the scenario is set to change, as the WR has started a project wherein it has decided to replace the existing fluorescent tubelights with Light Emitting Diode (LED) ones.

Authorities said the new LED tubelights are brighter and consume less power than existing fluorescent tubelights (circled). File pic
Authorities said the new LED tubelights are brighter and consume less power than existing fluorescent tubelights (circled). File pic

Authorities said the new LED tubelights are brighter, and will lead to savings in electricity costs. The project was initiated earlier this month at the Mahalaxmi car shed. “We have replaced about 500 fluorescent tubelights with LED ones so far,” said Shailendra Kumar, Divisional Railway Manager (Mumbai), WR.

While a regular tubelight costs about Rs 250 or so, an LED one comes for around Rs 1,100. Though officials agreed that installing LED lights was a costly affair, they pointed out that an LED tubelight can last for at least five years against the 18-month lifespan of a fluorescent tubelight.

Justifying the purchase of LED lights, a senior WR official said, “Most of the electricity utilised by us goes in operating trains, which we cannot cut back on. Installation of LED lights will help us save at least some units and reduce the power bill.”

Power woes

>> At present, Western Railway is paying R9 per unit of electricity, and its power expenditure has shot up by 40 per cent in the last two years 

>> WR has requested Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC) to allow it to get ‘deemed licensee’ status so that it can purchase electricity from other states 

>> Authorities want to procure electricity from Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, as the cost per unit there is around R4-5 

>> This, officials say, will allow the railway to save nearly Rs 200 crore annually

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