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Corporation to promote solar energy in a big way

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The Hindu       02.03.2017  

Corporation to promote solar energy in a big way

Green power:Solar panels installed atop the ‘Anna Maaligai’ in Madurai Corporation buildings to generate power for its consumption.Photo: G. MoorthyG_Moorthy  

Every month, the civic body saved almost 50 % in the power bill as each kW capacity of solar panel generated 3 to 4 units

The civic body that has installed 44 kW capacity solar panels atop the roof of Anna Maaligai, its office, at a cost of Rs 55 lakh in 2016, a first-of-its-kind in Tamil Nadu, is reaping the benefits now handsomely.

In the last 10 months, its power bill has come down steeply. Every month, the Corporation saved almost 50 % in power bill as each kW capacity of solar panel generated 3 to 4 units of electricity, said Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri.

Following the success, it has now planned to identify similar buildings for installation of solar panels.

Speaking to The Hindu, he said that the Corporation had around 350 buildings, big and small. “We have chosen 156 among them for installing solar panels. Proposals to establish solar panels with a capacity of 466 kW is ready,” he added.

Buildings with good space to install solar panels and collect sun rays without dilution have been identified for the purpose.

“With peak summer setting in the next 100 to 150 days, the demand for electricity is bound to go up. Thus, by generating our own electricity, power bills will decline and result in savings for the civic body. Above all, switching over to alternative power generation will encourage residents also to opt for green energy,” Corporation officials and senior engineers in charge of installing solar panels said.

“Maternity homes, schools, tax collection centres and overhead water tanks of the Corporation are some of the buildings to benefit from solar panel installations,” Assistant Executive Engineer Senthil said and noted that with many people coming into solar panel trade, installation and procurement of panels would be cheaper now than the 2016 levels.

Maternity home staff in Sellur said that the proposal to install solar panel on the premises was welcome as the in-patients would have uninterrupted power when TANGEDCO shutdown electricity for maintenance work. Similar views were echoed by staff at the computerised tax collection centres, where solar panels will give steady supply without interruptions.

Billing cycle

The Anna Maaligai, which used to get a bill of Rs. 1.47 lakh per month, has been getting power bills for around Rs. 75000 a month in the last 10 months. As for the maintenance of solar panels, the officials said the cost was negligible.

Presently, the Corporation consumes the power generated from its solar panels at Anna Maaligai, while it has planned to explore the possibility of inviting bidders to sell surplus electricity through power purchase agreement.

First in State

Among the 12 Corporations in the State, Madurai Corporation was the first to go the solar way, officials said. A commendable and noteworthy project indeed.


Corporation procures sand-sweeping machines

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The Hindu        07.09.2016

Corporation procures sand-sweeping machines

The sleek hand-held machines will be highly productive as they can be operated even in small lanes, on paver stones and on bridges

MORE TO BE PURCHASED:Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri (right) and Mayor(in-charge) K. Thiraviam at the launch of sand-sweeping machines in Madurai.— Photo: R. Ashok
MORE TO BE PURCHASED:Corporation Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri (right) and Mayor(in-charge) K. Thiraviam at the launch of sand-sweeping machines in Madurai.— Photo: R. Ashok

There is some good news for the citizens of Temple City. The Corporation of Madurai has procured modern gadgets with which sand accumulated on roadsides can be removed precisely and swiftly.

The sleek hand-held machines will be highly productive as it can be operated even in small lanes, paver stones and on bridges (where, the worker can remove sand and other particles on the holes meant for rainwater drain) without being a hindrance to vehicular movement.

The Corporation had procured five such units at a cost of Rs 2.40 lakh. Initially, each zone (there are four zones) would get one unit and in a phased manner, more numbers would be purchased depending on the requirement, said Mayor (in-charge) K. Thiraviam.

Out of the 100 wards in the city, at least 50 per cent of them had complaints of sand accumulation on the roads, which polluted the stretches, especially, after rain.

Now that the sand-sweeping machines were in place, we would start removing them and try to give a cleaner city, said Commissioner Sandeep Nanduri and added that the new machines could be operated at a stretch, say for instance, for about a kilometre distance and the gadget could collect 37 litres of sand at a time.

The Corporation, an engineer in-charge of road maintenance, said that apart from main thoroughfares like Kalavasal and Arasaradi, Muthu bridge and among other roads and bylanes had been identified, where sand accumulation was high.

Though there were several reasons attributed to sand accumulation on roadsides, the engineer claimed that paver finish roads should be laid as they would not give room for sand accumulation.

“Road contractors should lay the bitumen from end to end as the black topping would not give space for any dust. Likewise, whenever a road is laid, no agency shall dig the stretch as it will not only lead to debris accumulation, but the even surface will get spoiled.

After spending over Rs.55 lakh on laying new road two months ago, where the Regional Passport Office (near lotus tank) is situated, the road has been dug now after sewage complaints.

Yet another stretch, which has always been under repair, is the Old Natham Road. Due to bad road, carriage space had shrunk. The residents complained that the Underground Drainage System was not properly maintained and sewage flowed freely on the road.

When it dried up, the sewage got mixed up with sand and was never removed. This caused unpleasant smell and also posed a threat to road-users as the stretch turned as mosquito-breeding centre.

Most importantly, sand-laden trucks should be penalised or impounded whenever they transported sand without covering them with tarpaulin sheets.

The Teppakulam-Kamarajar Salai was a classic example where sand accumulated on roadsides had resulted in freak accidents on many occasions.

With the sand-sweeping machines in place, the councillors, cutting across party lines, said that the officials should not just confine to cleaning only arterial intersections, but also clean up residential locations.

There are 100 wards and five machines may not be sufficient to clean the city. But it was a good beginning and good news in the right direction, they hailed.


Municipal office being expanded

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The Hindu       11.07.2016  

Municipal office being expanded

Work has been taken up on an outlay of Rs. 75 lakh

Expansion work under way in Mayiladuthurai municipal office building.— Photo: M. Srinath
Expansion work under way in Mayiladuthurai municipal office building.— Photo: M. Srinath

The municipal administration has taken up work on expansion of its British-built building, which is nearly 150 years old, by constructing another floor. The work is being executed under the general funds of the municipality at an expenditure of about Rs.75 lakh.

Primarily, the additional space on the first floor will ease the problem and inconvenience due to lack of space for the administrative wing of the municipality.

The major units of the health, public health, town planning, engineering and revenue sections will be shifted to the first floor, while the council hall and the Chairman’s chamber will be used as usual on the ground floor.

Though the old building is safe, water seepage is a problem during monsoon. However, it has been decided not to demolish the ancient building but to expand it vertically.

A major part of the work had been completed and the additional floor would be opened by the end of December or the beginning of January next year, sources told The Hindu on Saturday.


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