Thiruvananthapuram: The initiative by the tourism department to light up major tourist spots by installing solar panels is reaping multiple benefits.
Forty-eight solar lights have been installed, in association with Kerala State Industrial Enterprise, at Kovalam beach, the city’s tourism hotspot. Solar-powered LED lights of 35 watt, operated via web, now dot the way from lighthouse beach to parking area. The project cost is 31 lakh. Also, thirty-seven solar lamps have been installed, at a cost of Rs 28.5 lakh, at Veli Tourist Village.
“LED solar lights are expected to bring down cost burden and help save on power bills. The expenditure is less than that of electric lights. The lamps have one year warranty and five years of annual maintenance contract. The project also addresses the issues of frequent power cuts as well as safety concerns,” said an official with district tourism promotion council.
The key features of the solar lamps are they are monitored and controlled through a mobile app. In case of any damage or glitch, an alert will be automatically sent to the staff concerned. Also, unauthorized operation is also not possible as theft alarm has been installed. The inbuilt system will record how much power has been consumed and the system has battery backup too.
“The corporation was responsible for paying the electricity bills for the streetlights at Kovalam. However, the power was disconnected after the local body defaulted on payments,” said a project official.
The project will be extended to Varkala and Akkulam too.