Irked by streets devoid of any lights or the poorly-lit ones, Citizens for Citizens, an organisation formed by activists and residents in and around Vasanthnagar recently undertook a comprehensive survey of their neighbourhood. Volunteers surveyed each and every street, took note of the status of streetlights as well as stretches that didn’t have any and compiled a detailed a report. They submitted the survey to the BBMP, requesting that officials replace, repair, or install new streetlights wherever necessary. Other citizens groups are also planning to start similar initiatives.
Survey by citizens for citizens
According to the survey conducted by Citizens for Citizens in Vasanthnagar, 65 of around 440 streetlights in the area do not work, and a large number are ineffective as they are located near trees. The group also recorded several long stretches where there were no streetlights.
Rajkumar Dugar, convenor, Citizens for Citizens, said that the response by the BBMP had been positive and they started the repair work as soon as the survey was submitted to them. “We took up this initiative because the poor lighting was becoming a safety hazard. We believe in ground action and want our problems heard and acted upon, instead of just complaining,” he said.
Several citizens groups like the Kumara Park West Residents Welfare Association is planning to undertake a similar exercise.
Chitra Venkatesh of the association said that to date they would only call the contractor to get a streetlight fixed. She also alleged that the area has a mix of both LED and sodium-powered streetlights which don’t always work in tandem. “When the LED lights are powered on, the conventional lamps go off, and vice-versa. A survey by residents is an effective approach. We will try to do in our area as well,” she said.
Residents are of the view that if they go their local civic representatives with concrete data, it will help the BBMP address their problems with greater efficiency. Pranay Dubey from Electronics City Rising, said that they faced the same problem a couple of months ago and got it fixed by reporting it to the concerned agencies. “When the concerned agency do not take up the work, it is the responsibility of the citizens to get the problem fixed,” he said.
It helps the civic body, too
A BBMP engineer, speaking about the initiative, said it was a welcome move that helped the BBMP spot streets that sometimes goes unnoticed. “We keep track of such dark stretches and rectify them as soon as possible. Some gaps are there which we will fix soon,” he said.
Another BBMP official said that once the LED bulbs are installed across the city, it would ensure bright, uniform light. “Preparation for the project is on and the work is expected to begin soon,” he said.