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Consumers revert to fluorescent bulbs

Consumers revert to fluorescent bulbs
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Majority households in the district are purchasing huge number of conventional fluorescent bulbs as the administration failed either to support the...

Nellore: Majority households in the district are purchasing huge number of conventional fluorescent bulbs as the administration failed either to support the consumers or to take measures to provide subsidy for purchasing new Light Emitting Diode (LED) bulbs. Use of the LEDs that aimed to reduce power consumption has been gradually declining in the district due to unbearable cost of bulbs.

In fact, the State Energy Conservation Mission (SECM) which implemented a programme in 2016 across the state had distributed a couple of LED bulbs to each service connection at free of cost for domestic purpose. Subsequently, the wing kept quiet failing to take follow up measures. Now, majority manufacturers are selling these bulbs at huge costs and local chain stores are also selling them at reduced cost without any guarantee.

As a result, now consumers are back to conventional system such as fluorescent tubes and others due to presence of products without any warranty. Ninety per cent of bulbs distributed two years ago with warranty have become useless as the Discom failed to arrange replacement facility due to its internal reasons. Now, the consumers have started dumping them in the dust bins after they started wavering though they have warranty.

It may be recalled that the state government had implemented the programme in association with the Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL) and distributed more than 2.16 crore bulbs across the state that comes to around Rs 1,126 crore. In Nellore alone, 14.16 lakh bulbs were distributed to the consumers at 2 per service connection and each LED bulb at Rs 10 under ‘Unnat Jyoti’ by Affordable LEDs for All’ (UJALA) scheme.

In the district, LED bulbs were distributed in Nellore, Atmakur, Gudur, Kovur, Muthukur, Naidupet, Kavali, Venkatagiri and Udayagiri. As a matter of fact, the EESL provides free of cost replacement for all LED bulbs. The distribution centres did not replace LED bulbs for three years due to technical faults.

These LED bulbs are now costing between Rs 150-200 each with one-two year warranty. But, chain stores of big malls and others are selling at Rs 89 or Rs 99 without any guarantee making the consumers doubt the durability of the product. So, they are not purchasing these bulbs available for Rs 100 and they are simply purchasing a fluorescent bulb at Rs 40-45.

“By just giving two bulbs to a household, we cannot say LED programme has been successful in the state/district. There should be continuous monitoring whether people were gradually switching over to the power-saving bulbs or whether they have been following the conventional practices. Services of New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation can be utilized for monitoring and selling the bulbs at subsidized cost.

But this is not being done by the government,” said A Karunakar, a consumer from Ramalingapuram area. He said they don’t know where they can replace the defective LED bulbs distributed earlier. Further, LED lighting system on the streets is being monitored by the civic body coordinating with the EESL and this has been lacking in case of domestic purpose, he added.

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