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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

Change On The Ground: UJALA, SLNP Complete Five ‘Illuminating Years’

The govt plans to replace around 1.34 crore conventional streetlights with LED bulbs across India by March 2020.

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NEW DELHI: Launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi on January 5th, 2015, the Government of India’s zero-subsidy Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) and LED Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP), marks its fifth anniversary today.

SLNP is the world’s largest streetlight replacement programme and UJALA is the world’s largest domestic lighting project. Both have been spearheaded and implemented by Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of PSUs under the Ministry of Power, Government of India.

Under the SLNP programme, over 1.03 crore smart LED streetlights have been installed till date, enabling an estimated energy savings of 6.97 billion kWh per year with an avoided peak demand of 1,161 MW and an estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction of 4.80 million tCO2 annually. LED streetlights have been installed in various states across the country, helping generate approximately 13,000 jobs to support GoI’s Make in India initiative.


Through the UJALA initiative, over 36.13 crore LED bulbs have been distributed across India. This has resulted in estimated energy savings of 46.92 billion kWh per year, avoided peak demand of 9,394 MW, and an estimated GHG emission reduction of 38 million t CO2 annually.

On achieving the milestone, Managing Director, EESL Shri Saurabh Kumar said, “Five years ago, Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi started the energy efficiency revolution in India by launching UJALA & Street Lighting National Programme. Energy efficiency is vital for India’s efforts in mitigating climate change and achieving a sustainable future. These programmes exemplify the Government of India’s vision for a New India, and the empowerment of every citizen. I congratulate all the State Governments, Urban Local Bodies, stakeholders and EESL’s young team for their continued efforts towards achieving the country’s energy efficiency goals.”

With the concerted efforts towards building a robust ecosystem for LED in India, these programmes have bagged global awards like the prestigious South Asia Procurement Innovation Award (SAPIA) 2017 and for the innovative use of IT and the business results achieved in Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP), it won 2019 CIO 100 award. The highly successful UJALA and SLNP have also bagged the Global Solid State Lighting (SSL) award of excellence for the transformational contribution to the LED sector.



UJALA project brought the market transformation in energy efficiency sector. Prices of LED bulbs being distributed under UJALA programme have fallen to one-tenth of their rates in 2015 from INR. 310 to INR 38 in 2018. The switch from inefficient incandescent bulbs to LEDs is helping families reduce their electricity bills while also enabling them to access better brightness in homes. The money saved adds to a household’s disposable income and lifetime savings, thus improving their quality of life, generating prosperity in local communities, and in expanding energy access to all. With the average household electricity bills down by 15 per cent, the annual energy saving is equivalent to a week’s average earning. The sale of LED bulbs in the Indian market increased from 0.1 per cent of the lighting market in 2014 to 15 per cent within a year, with a projected increase to 60 per cent by 2020. The domestic LED market has also grown significantly beyond the UJALA programme, with the industry selling over 1.15 billion LEDs, far exceeding the UJALA programme’s target of 700 million LED unit sales.

Apart from this, the Government of India initiated the Gram Swaraj Abhiyan (GSA) in 2018, which was aimed at promotion of social harmony by apprising rural communities of various government welfare schemes and initiatives. As a part of GSA, 21,058 Indian villages with a significantly large number of poor households were able to buy LED bulbs for a special price under UJALA programme. The LED bulbs equipped homes with energy-efficient, cost-effective lighting, and higher lumen output than conventional incandescent bulbs.

Simultaneously, LED Street Lighting National Programme has enabled citizens to increase productivity at night and made roads safer for pedestrians and motorists due to enhanced brightness and reduced dark spots. The power utilities of states where the installation of LEDs has been implemented save up to 50 per cent in electricity bills, while ensuring 95 per cent of streetlight uptime. As these lights are automated, they switch on and off at sunrise and sunset thereby reducing wastage. Utilities can also remotely track and rectify any faults with support of CCMS. In the last five years, the LED streetlights installed have illuminated 3,00,000 km of roads in India, enabling public safety and energy-efficient lighting.

The Centre plans to replace around 1.34 crore conventional streetlights with LED bulbs across the country by March 2020 under the LED Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP), an official statement said. A Power Minister statement on Sunday said that, under the SLNP programme, over 1.03 crore `smart` LED streetlights have been installed till date, enabling an estimated energy savings of 6.97 billion kWh (kilowatt hour) per year.

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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

HISTORIC: 644 Terrorists From 8 Terror Groups Surrender With Arms In Assam

The terrorists have deposited 177 arms, huge ammunition and other explosive materials.

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GUWAHATI (Assam): 644 militants from 8 outfits on Thursday laid down their arms in Guwahati, Assam before Chief Minister Sarbanand Sonowal and senior officials.

Among those who surrendered include 50 terrorists from ULFA (Independence), 8 of National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), 178 from Adivashi Dragon Fighter (ADF).

The terrorists have deposited 177 arms, huge ammunition and other explosive materials.

Welcoming the militants to the mainstream, Chief Minister Sonowal appealed them to contribute in the nation-building process. He said that laying down of arms would further boost the peace process in the state.


Terming it as one of the largest instances of the terrorist surrender in Assam, Director General of Police (DGP) Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta said January 23 would henceforth be marked as a special day.

Mahanta said this will impact the peace process favourably. He hoped that more boys in different extremist groups would come forward to join this peace process.

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CHANGE ON THE GROUND

IRCTC To Pay Compensation Of Rs 100 Each To 630 Passengers Of Tejas Express

The Tejas Express and a few other suburban and outstation trains were held up due to a technical problem on the outskirts of Mumbai.

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MUMBAI (Maharashtra): Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) has said that it will pay a compensation of 100 rupees each to around 630 passengers of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Tejas Express because of a delay.

The Express, the second IRCTC-run train which commenced commercial operations from January 19, was delayed for over an hour on Wednesday afternoon as it was entering Mumbai. The train reached the Mumbai Central station around 1 hour and 30 minutes late.

The IRCTC spokesperson said the passengers will have to apply as per the refund policy. They will be given a refund after verification.


According to railway officials, the premium train departed from Ahmedabad at 6.42 am, two minutes late. But it arrived at Mumbai Central at 2.36 pm instead of the scheduled time of 1.10 pm.

The Tejas Express and a few other suburban and outstation trains were held up due to a technical problem on the outskirts of Mumbai.

The IRCTC spokesperson said that as the train was delayed, around 630 passengers who travelled up to Mumbai Central will be given compensation.



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AGENTS OF CHANGE

‘Orange Cafe’ By Acid Attack Survivors To Open In Varanasi On January 29

After the Sheroes Hangout Cafe in Lucknow and Agra, acid attack survivors in Varanasi will soon have a cafe that will be run by them.

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BANARAS/KASHI (Uttar Pradesh): After the Sheroes Hangout Cafe in Lucknow and Agra, a new cafe, owned and managed by acid attack survivors, is set to be inaugurated in Banaras/Kashi on Basant Panchami (January 29)—a day which marks the advent of spring in north India.

The cafe is named The Orange — with reference to UNESCO’s ‘Orange the World’ Campaign which sets aside 16 days starting from November 25 every year to galvanise action against all forms of violence against women.

The man behind the project is Ajay Kumar Patel, who started the ‘Red Brigade’ in 2011 which is an NGO that trains women in self-defence.


Patel said: “We are starting The Orange Cafe from a rented place but we soon plan to get ownership of the place. Our aim is to make sure that the acid attack survivors own the café and run it themselves.”

‘The Orange’ was initially planned to be situated at the iconic and divine Assi Ghat—one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations—but the property rates there proved to be too prohibitive. Eventually, the selected sited is now at Varanasi’s Durga Kund area in a 600 square feet space.

Patel has been travelling through the state since the past two years to connect with acid attack survivors in various districts.



He short-listed four survivors, who were willing to shift to Varanasi and take on the responsibility of running the cafe.

So far, Patel has short-listed 4 candidates to run the café, namely, Rekha Devi (35) (acid attack during a loot attempt in 2015) from Jaunpur, Somvati (18) (acid attack following a village dispute in 2015) from Bareilly, Vimla Passi (39) (acid attack followeing rape in 2008) from Rae Bareli and Badam Devi (35) (acid attack over a property dispute in 2012) from Varanasi.

We are now training these women to cook food, serve the customers and undertake the billing. We do not want them to depend on others for these tasks. For the first four months, we will pay them a token amount but they will later share the profit among themselves,” said Patel.

Somvati from Bareilly, who is hopeful of a better life in this new venture, adds, “I want to ensure good education for my 10-year-old son and the cafe will help me fulfil my dream’’.

Somvati was attacked with acid by her neighbour three years ago when she spurned his advances.

The decor, with hints of orange and red to mark the struggles of women, has been conceptualised by the Visual Arts Department of the Banares Hindu University. “We wanted everything to be hand-painted, but time constraints have made us use flex as well”, said Patel.


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