The Corporation is finding it challenging to provide optimum illumination on roads in view of the thick foliage in many localities. It has been receiving complaints from residents about obstruction of the streetlighting by tree branches.

Over 10 per cent of the 1.32 lakh streetlights in Chennai are in the midst of such trees, said an official .

There are also other reasons for inadequate street illumination. As the number of ‘not-burning' streetlights normally tends to increase during the northeast monsoon, the lighting of streets becomes even more challenging. The number of ‘not-burning' streetlights is already on the rise and expected to touch five per cent in December. The highest number of ‘not-burning' streetlights has been reported in Adyar with 667 of the 18,085 lights in the zone not burning on Monday this week.

On an average, the percentage of ‘not-burning' lights has already touched 3.5 during this rainy season with over 4,600 lights not burning. Even after rectification measures taken every day by the civic body, the numbers normally are slightly higher on account of cable fault and access fault which are unavoidable technical problems associated with the rainy season.

According to residents, the lack of illumination is one of the factors that encourage antisocial activities in their localities.

“So pruning of trees gains significance and at least 15 such requests are made in a ward every month,” says M. Jayaraman, a Corporation Councillor in one of the wards in Adyar zone.

The civic body has been able to redress grievances of residents pertaining to inadequate lighting only by sporadic pruning of trees. However, there is no massive pruning of trees obstructing streetlights. “We require the help of the Forest Department for such massive pruning of trees with power saw,” said an official of the civic body.

“Some residents complain of dark patches. When corporation workers try to cut such trees, there is resistance from some other residents,” the official added.

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Aloysius Xavier LopezJune 28, 2012

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