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To: Mayor / D.G.(Electrical, KMC)



Dear Sir,
The trident lamps installed in Kolkata (as well as nearby areas) has no doubt led to a drastic change in city's beautification drive. The lights themselves actually look fine - particularly on the riverfront. But as far as energy efficiency is concerned, the Kolkata Beautification Project is leading to wasteful expenditure of electricity from fossil fuels. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation has so far spent a huge amount in installing as well as paying electric bills for these trident lamps.

We believe that this money could have rather been invested in installing undepletable source of energy (like solar plants) because its plentiful, widely distributed, clean, and produces no greenhouse gas emissions. Its high time for our civic body to realize the situation and implement some renewable technology, such that they can save a lot of fossil fuels as well as negative environmental impacts. Ways should be found out to make it cleaner and greener by powering it through solar energy so that further investment on them through paid electricity is not incurred.

To be precis, City-of-Joy's beautification drive must continue, but it should be done more wisely & judiciously.

Why is this important?

It’s found that these trident lights not only lack aesthetics, but are also redundant as these do not serve any purpose. The trident lamp uses 3 CFL lamps each, which are often prone to damage either by natural hazards or public demonstrations. Moreover, the recurring electricity charges of these lamps keep increasing every year, along with drain of most precious resource - electricity (from fossil fuels).

According to The Statesman report, consumption of electricity has nearly doubled after the trident lights were installed. In January, KMC's electricity bill amounted to Rs 21 crore from Rs 15 crore in December last year. Because of the ongoing financial crunch the civic authorities had failed to pay the electricity bills from April 2011 to January on time.

Since a huge amount has already been invested on installing trident lamps, CFL's, etc., there's no alternate left (i.e. they can neither be replaced nor uprooted). Instead, the authorities must (at least) find ways to power these lamps using solar energy, such that they can save a lot of 'fossil fuels' as well as 'money on electric bills'.

In this era of high technology, where countries like US, China, Germany, etc. have a target to turn to maximum clean, green renewable energy by 2050, we are still lagging far behind extracting energy from non-renewable resources and leaving a 'harmful impact' on the environment.

On the other hand, there is a huge opportunity for solar energy in India as we receive about 3000 hours of sunshine every year - equivalent to over 5000 trillion kWh! We can use this solar energy to provide a clean source of 'continuous electricity' to the 'entire nation'.

Many might worry that the high cost of these photovoltaic (PV) panels might hamper the mainstream entry of such devices. Nevertheless, non-stop research works in this field has reduced the prices of solar panels to a large extent. Moreover, China is offering good quality panels in Indian market at very competitive prices.

Renewable energy in India is a sector that is still underdeveloped and when everyone is talking of sustainable living by reducing energy spent, the civic body in our country is doing the opposite.

For reference, please see:
1). The Statesman, No midnight London lights in Kolkata:
2). TOI, Trident light controversy: Kolkata Municipal Corporation turns heat on DGs:
3). The Statesman, KMC sweats to implement CM’s London dreams:
4). TOI, Trident lights are back, with better paperwork:
5). International Renewable Energy Statistics:
6). Electronics For You (Vol. 42, No. 12) - December 2010


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

Reasons for signing

  • in order to protect kolkata from possible environmental hazard. join hand to make better future. join greenpeaceX
  • I love my city and I hate see it waste so much fossil fuel energy on something that can be so very green and clean.
  • the lamps are barely lighting up the streets. its better to spend the taxpayers money on something else which meets the beautification needs of govt.


2013-08-13 21:02:27 +0530

Exciting news! The Solarising Kolkata campaign got the attention of Kolkata Municipal Corporation's D.G. (Electrical) as we went to submit the campaign report to him today!

Surprisingly, he too believes that the issue is incredibly important & will soon be taking this into account as they make their progress towards non-conventional energy sources.

Thanks all who've been a part of this team as well as all the supporters. You guys were a motivation. This wouldn't have been possible without your support.

2013-08-01 16:24:19 +0530

For the Solarising Tridents Campaign report, click here: