Street lamps fitted with global positioning system (GPS) now illuminate parts of Grand Southern Trunk Road in Tambaram.

The GPS facility will help staff at a dedicated control room monitor the lamps on the stretch and watch out for damaged ones. The 246 street lamps, installed on the median of GST Road, were recently dedicated by Tambaram MLA and Animal Husbandry Minister T.K.M. Chinnayya.

The lamps also consume less energy. Municipal chairman M. Karikalan said that the new metal halide lamps consume only 210 watts of power as opposed to the earlier sodium vapour lamps, which consume 250 watts. The lamps were installed on a 3.75-m-long stretch between Tambaram Sanatorium and Irumbuliyur. The control room has been set up at the municipality.

Municipal commissioner S. Sivasubramanian, said that a number of tests to check lux (to determine level of illumination), luminosity, road and traffic patterns among others were done before the system was implemented.

While the State government sanctioned Rs. 50 lakh, the municipality spent the remaining Rs. 1.5 crore from its general funds. The lights will automatically turn on at 6 p.m. and switch off at 5.30 a.m. and will dim between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m., when traffic is likely to be light, resulting in the further saving of power. The contractor who installed the new posts will maintain them for a year.

The metal lamp posts are made of galvanised iron, unlike conventional posts which only have a galvanised iron coating.

The new posts can withstand strong winds and even absorb shocks in the event of minor collisions, unlike the earlier ones that would bend or give way under such circumstances, officials said.

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