Defunct streetlights leave residents groping in the dark

Let there be light: In the last three years, no purchases have been made to repair the streetlights, according to an Electricity Department official.   | Photo Credit: S.S. Kumar

Defunct streetlights in Muthialpet are causing hardship to its residents. High mast lights and streetlights have remained non-functional in several parts of the locality for a long time.

The high mast lights erected at Manikoondu (clock tower), the market and Sholai Nagar, and streetlights at Pattinathar Thottam haven’t been functioning for several months, residents allege.

“If several streetlights are non-functional, a few that do work are on throughout the day. Sometimes, the lights are on from Friday night till Sunday morning,” said Ashwin Clement, a resident of Muthialpet.

“The presence of stray dogs adds to the problem of lack of lighting. Several residents have stepped on stray dogs lying on the road due to darkness.” said Elango, a resident of Vaithikuppam.

R. Saravanan, a lawyer and resident of Muthialpet, said even the streetlights damaged during Cyclone Thane at Sholai Nagar were yet to be repaired. There was no clarity on whether the Public Works or the Electricity Department was responsible for maintenance of high masts, he added.

“If you drive around the town during the night, you could spot defunct streetlights in several areas. But the problem is acute in Muthialpet. It's pitch dark even on the main road, with high mast lights not functioning near Manikoondu and the market. People fear entering the market after the evening,” M.P. Mathivanan, a CPI(M) functionary, said.

The party recently organised a protest at Muthialpet and symbolically placed a wreath at the high mast light at Manikoondu.

Mr. Mathivanan said the party took up the issue after people complained of illegal activities happening under the cover of darkness. “Many shady and illegal things happen because of the lack of proper lighting on the streets. The government should immediately take up the issue,” he said.

According to a senior official in the Electricity Department, in the last three years, no purchases had been made to repair the streetlights.

During a review meeting, the Minister gave an assurance that the purchase of equipment, including bulbs, would be expedited. “We are hopeful of repairing the lights in a few weeks,” the official said.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 6:14:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/defunct-streetlights-leave-residents-groping-in-the-dark/article35672865.ece

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