The ‘Smell’ of Solar Power Spreads Across Public Toilets In Mumbai

Highlights :

  • In December last year, it was announced that Indore Smart City Development Limited (ISCDL) would install solar power systems at 100 public and community toilets to electricity consumption.
  • Earlier this year, the Tripura Police launched a mobile-bio toilet for on-duty personnel in Agartala. Notably, the lights and fans installed in the vehicle run on solar power.
  • The latest update in the matter comes from Mumbai, where the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will install rooftop solar panels on street toilet blocks in the P/South ward – Goregaon area.

In recent time, urban administrations have been experimenting with innovative ways of incorporating solar energy in our every day lives, one of which is installing solar panels atop public toilets.

In December last year, for instance, it was announced that Indore Smart City Development Limited (ISCDL) would install solar power systems at 100 public and community toilets. Earlier this year, the Tripura Police launched a mobile-bio toilet for on-duty personnel in Agartala. Notably, the lights and fans installed in the vehicle run on solar power.

The latest update in the matter comes from Mumbai, where the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will install rooftop solar panels on street toilet blocks in the P/South ward – Goregaon area. The initiative is being undertaken to maximise the utility of space and clean energy.

While the project is being organised and undertaken at the ward level, an official from the solid waste management department said it can be replicated across the city, in a phased manner. Suresh Kakani, additional municipal commissioner in-charge of the solid waste management (SWM) department said, “This project is being implemented locally, at the ward level by the ward authorities.”

The on-grid nature of the solar panels means the civic body does not require setting up a separate or additional distribution system. A civic official from the SWM department said, “The rooftops of toilet blocks have little use or interactivity. Some of them have overhead water tanks. But most land ends up becoming storage space, or has no use at all. We can identify more such buildings across the city and implement the plan in a phased manner.” The capacity of installation will depend on the space available atop each building.

In 2019, BMC installed solar panels atop its four-storey engineers’ hub in Worli, generating 360 kilowatt-peak (kWp), to cater to the electricity demands of a part of the building, with the aim to bring down the monthly electricity bill by 30%. This was the first BMC owned building to get rooftop solar panels. BMC’s pre-pandemic plans aimed to adopt solar energy for all municipal buildings over the next few years.

It’s certainly an idea worth replicating countrywide.

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