The Kerala High Court has directed the Kochi Corporation and Chief Engineer, KSEB Electrical Section, Ernakulam, to see that street lights on M.G. Road and other roads in Kochi are maintained in good condition and worked properly at night.
Justice S. Siri Jagan issued the directive while disposing of a writ petition filed by M.K. Baby who lives on M.G.Road. The writ petition sought a directive to the Kochi Corporation and the Chief Engineer to take steps to properly maintain the street lights on the road.
When the petition came up for hearing, the Kochi Corporation took the stand that maintenance of street lights had been outsourced. The court said that there could not be two different opinions that it was the duty of the corporation to see that street lights worked properly. Even if the upkeep of the street lights was outsourced, it was still the duty of the corporation to ensure that the street lights functioned properly at night. The court said that it was imperative that the street lights not only on the M.G. Road, but also in all the parts of Kochi were maintained in good condition and worked at night.
The court also warned that appropriate action would be taken against the officials concerned if they failed to maintain the street lights properly.
The petitioner complained that the street lights on M.G. Road near Padma did not work properly at night, leading to the growing menace of anti-social elements in the area. She also said that many ATMs and banks were functioning on the street. The absence of lighting at night posed a threat to those who used the ATMs. Besides, pedestrians were also facing hardships due to non-functioning of the street lights.