Following orders of the Union Ministry of Power to meet the targets under National LED programme of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the education department of Punjab has issued orders for government schools saying that from now on only LED lights/bulbs should be fitted in the school premises. The letter dated September 4, issued from the office of director of school education (secondary) in Punjab, refers to the orders received from Ministry of Power which say that “installation of LED-based lighting is mandatory in all the government buildings as well as in community lighting projects funded by the state government”.
Ajay Bhalla, secretary to the government of India, Ministry of Power in a letter (which has also been received by the schools) dated August 18 to Karan Avtar Singh, chief secretary, Government of Punjab has written that under the National LED programme, which the PM had launched in UK, the target is to distribute 77 crore LED bulbs under UJALA (Unnati Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All) and to install 1.34 crore LED street lights by March 2019.
The letter further asks the government of Punjab to install LED lights in all government buildings and target ’50-90% reduction in energy consumption’.
The orders for the schools say that “keeping in view the orders from the central government, the government of Punjab has also decided that from now on energy saving measures will be focused on”.
It adds, “From now on whenever a tubelight/bulb gets fused or dysfunctional, it has be replaced with LED lights only in all government buildings or any other community lighting project in which state government is contributing funds. Also, if any new government building is constructed it should have LED lighting only.”
Speaking to The Indian Express, Paramjit Singh, director of school education (secondary) in Punjab, said that orders were mandatory for all government schools. “It is an appreciable step by central government. Since school buildings are one of the major consumers of power, they have been told to install LED lights only from now on. Government takes care of all expenses of government schools and thus they have to follow these orders on LED lighting.”
However, the claims of the government about bearing the power expenditure of the government schools is questionable because most of the schools, especially primary schools in Punjab, depend on donations to even pay their monthly electricity bills. Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) has often disconnected power to government schools due to non-payment of bills.