The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), which has the task of lighting up 1,108 dark spots located in the jhuggi jhopri (JJ) colonies of the capital, has drawn up the plan for a pilot project to install LED lights on the roofs of existing slums.
Senior DUSIB officials said that the pilot project will be initiated in JJ colonies in Meera Bagh, Indira Camp No. 6 in Vikaspuri, Kalyanvas, Mayapuri Phase II and Okhla Phase II.
DUSIB CEO V K Jain said, “We are carrying out the work to light up 1,108 dark spots located in JJ colonies. In five places, we will start an unique concept on an experimental basis. We will install LED lights on the rooftops of existing slums. They will be installed using the same power connection that the owner of the tenement uses and we will work out a plan to either give the owner a subsidy on his power bill or work out a minimum sharing arrangement and pay the power distribution companies in advance.”
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“There may not always be space to set up electric poles… and having live wires in densely populated areas may be dangerous. That’s why we came up with this concept of using existing power connections,” said a senior official.
DUSIB officials said lighting up these spots would serve two purposes — it would make these spots safer and also allow access to public toilets in JJ colonies that the DUSIB is constructing. According to officials, accessing public toilets after dark is difficult, especially for women, if the area is not sufficiently lit. Lighting up the 1,108 dark spots will ensure access to public toilets and check open defecation, they said.
DUSIB officials believe that the concept will receive a positive response. “If people are told that they would get a subsidy on their power bills and DUSIB will maintain the lights installed on their roofs, there should be no reason for them to say no. In addition, the residents of the slums will also benefit as well-lit areas will make women and children feel safer, and discourage criminal activities. If this idea succeeds, we will extend it to other colonies as well,” said a senior official.
According to the DUSIB’s plan, tenders for the five pilot projects will be invited on October 31. The work will start on November 21 and is expected to be completed by December 31. In the last week of January 2017, the DUSIB proposes to call for e-tenders for the remaining JJ colonies.