Thane awarded for leadership
Urban-LEDS Model City Thane is gaining international recognition for its innovative projects on low emission development. The awards highlight that this city is a frontrunner of urban sustainable development and guiding the transition to low emission development.
Under Urban-LEDS, guided by ICLEI’s GreenClimateCities (GCC) methodology, the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) is supported by the ICLEI South Asia Secretariat (ICLEI SAS) to identify priority areas for action and consolidate these in five pilot projects. ICLEI SAS is assisting the TMC with its implementation through technical support on assessments, surveys, tender development, bidding process management, on-the-ground coordination and monitoring.
Thane’s ambitious pilot projects focus on rolling out renewable energy, energy efficiency for street lighting, efficient urban public transport services and an awareness raising program on climate change and low-carbon practices.
- Awareness-raising program in schools: This has been conducted in 15 schools, including training for TMC staff
and teachers for future replication and scale-up of the program.
- Two LED retrofitting projects of 10,000 streetlights in Thane and 500 additional lights in slums will respectively yield 60% (4.5 million kWh/year) and 40% (277,000 kWh/year) annual reductions in energy use, which means carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) reductions of 3,700 tons and 227 tons.
- 100 drivers of the Thane Municipal Transportation department benefitted from the public bus driver training program to promote safer and fuel-efficient driving practices. Since its completion in July 2015, this program has already improved fuel efficiency by nearly 13%.
- The retrofitting of the Vartak Nager municipal school and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and control meters will increase the school’s energy efficiency, reduce its annual energy consumption (approximately 54,000 kWh) and reduce GHG emissions estimated at 44 tons of CO2e. This serves as a laboratory for students and other schools to understand the benefits of low emission measures and lifestyles. Ultimately, the school strives to become independent from the municipal energy grid.
These pioneering initiatives and many others in the fields waste management, water supply or sustainable housing have been widely acclaimed. In 2015, Thane won the title of National Earth Hour Capital in India in the 2014-2015 Earth Hour City Challenge - recognizing its policies on solar water heating and air conditioning, its use of bio methane and rainwater harvesting.
Later in the year, the TMC was presented with the Skoch Order-of-Merit award for its initiatives in energy efficiency for street lighting (nearly 7,500 street lights have already been switched from the regular sodium vapor lamps to LED technology) and optimizing collection of floral waste generated during the traditional festivals’ season as organic waste.