A delay in streetlight installation work has left most parts of the city dark, and councillors have urged the Coimbatore City Municipal Corporation (CCMC) to expedite the work.
From 2015, the civic body has been maintaining a total of 44,519 street lights in 40 wards, that were merged with the existing 60 wards in 2011. A total of 52,715 street lights were present in the 60 wards then. These were maintained by the civic body.
In 2021, Chief Minister MK Stalin announced that LED street lights would be installed in areas with no lights, using Rs 20 crore from the State Urban Infrastructure Development Fund (SUDF).
The tender was allotted to a private player and the work began a few months ago. However, councillors raised concerns over the delay and lack of equipment for the installation of street lights.
“The councillors weren’t consulted by the civic body officials before giving the job to the contractor. When 100 lights are allotted to each ward, the contractor has been installing only 10 lights in each ward. And that too, the lights are installed using the truck borrowed from the engineering section which repairs lamp posts. The contractor doesn’t possess any equipment or the expertise required for the streetlight installation. We haven’t received a proper response from the corporation commissioner yet,” CCMC east zone chairperson Lakumi Ilanjelvi Karthik told.
CCMC commissioner M Prathap cited the lack of spare parts manufacturers as the reason behind the delay in streetlight installation work. “Only a single firm in Tamil Nadu has been manufacturing the connectors that are required for streetlights. So the delay in the supply has affected the work. We are planning to buy the required parts from manufacturers in other states and sort out the issue soon,” he added.
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