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Streetlights in bad shape

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IN NEGLECT: A rusted meter box on a lamppost in Mangalore
IN NEGLECT: A rusted meter box on a lamppost in Mangalore

Special Correspondent

MESCOM has provided the meter, while MCC has installed the boxes that hold the switches and the meter MESCOM has provided the meter, MCC has installed switch boxes

The boxes are broken leaving expensive electronic meters and sensitive switches exposed High levels of humidity have also contributed to corrosion of the boxes Boxes that are meant to protect sensitive equipment should be of good quality, says corporator

MANGALORE: Mangalore City Corporation (MCC) and the Mangalore Electricity Supply Company (MESCOM) have together contributed to the streetlight system in the city. MESCOM provides the meter, while MCC provides the streetlights and the boxes that hold the switches and the meter.

No maintenance

However, both the organisations have neglected the upkeep of the switch boxes as a result of which none of these installations in the city are in proper condition. The boxes are broken leaving expensive electronic meters and sensitive switches exposed. According to MCC sources, it takes Rs. 4,500 to install one such box that has a meter, a relay switch and a collapsible tripper. There are at least 5,000 of them in the city.

Passing the buck

MESCOM authorities do not agree that it is their responsibility to maintain the boxes.

The corporation says since the meter is provided by MESCOM, it is their duty to protect it. However, according to MESCOM officials, the corporation has been given the task of operating the streetlight system and hence it is their job to maintain the system.

High levels of humidity have also contributed to corrosion as the boxes that protect the meter and switches are made of low quality steel.

As a result almost all of them have given way within a year of their installation. Mariyamma Thomas, senior corporator in the corporation, says the boxes that are meant to protect sensitive equipment should be of good quality and added that both MCC and MESCOM are answerable to this waste of money. She said when KEB was corporatised sometime back people hoped that MESCOM would act like a corporate body.

However, it has failed on this account, she said.

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