‘Project can be completed in a phased manner’
By allotting Rs. 5 crore a year the Coimbatore Corporation has planned to overhaul the street lighting system in the city.
Mayor S.M. Velusamy announced the decision after a few councillors complained that street lights in their localities did not glow for long and that their complaints to the officials concerned had not yielded the desired results.
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Councillor A. Nandhakumar, who started the debate, also said the recent rains, bad roads and absence of street lights had compromised the safety of many a motorist in the city. Soon All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Councillor S. Balan also joined him. He said that his ward residents too were victims.
This prompted the Mayor to ask why the maintenance of street lights should not be reverted to ward offices. At present, the Corporation had centralised and outsourced the same to contractors.
The Corporation could fine the contractors or withhold their payment but they would not serve the purpose. Was there an alternative, he asked the City Engineer in-charge K. Sugumar.
The officer replied that replacement of choke or bulb or any other part would only serve limited purpose as problems would continue to recur for the entire street lighting system was decades old. The best solution would be to replace the system in toto.
Mr. Sugumar said that the old city area – 60 wards – had 44,000-odd street lights and it would require around Rs. 25 crore to replace the entire street lighting system.
He also suggested that the Corporation could go in for the project in a phased manner to complete the work in a few years.
Taking a cue, Mayor Mr. Velusamy said that Corporation would consider spending Rs. 5 crore a year to revamp the entire street lighting system.
He also got the Council to pass a resolution in this regard.
The Coimbatore Corporation has undertaken a similar project in this regard for the added areas. At Rs. 20 crore the Corporation planned to replace existing lights with new ones and also install new lights. The work is in progress.