Govt. move puts LED street light project in dark phase

December 24, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 24, 2016 11:47 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram:

Many of the city streets will probably continue to be in darkness at least until the Assembly elections next year, as the State government has raised a few objections to the city Corporation’s LED street lighting agreement with SIDCO.

It was at the fag end of the last council’s tenure, in August, that the local body took the decision to award the contract for installation of LED street lights across the city to SIDCO.

The government has last week sent a list of four objections to this deal.

First of the objections

According to local body officials, the first item in the list of objections says that the exact number of lights required for the city has not been specified.

The second objection was regarding the tariff changes in the ninth and tenth years of the 10-year contract.

The government has also questioned the financial credentials of the SIDCO.

The final objection points out that there are doubts on who will bear the costs in the case of extra tariff.

No basis

“The objections do not have any basics. For instance, it is clearly mentioned in the proposal that 82,000 LED streetlights are to be replaced across the city. Also, the tariff is uniform for the entire duration of the contract of 10 years. As for the question of extra tariff, it will of course be borne by the local body. This looks more like a delaying tactic,” says an official here.


A vast majority of the complaints piling up at the desks of the new councillors of the city Corporation are regarding the lack of functioning streetlights in many wards.

The Corporation was in a dilemma whether to approve the purchase of annual replacements for streetlights.

But with the government’s objections now making it clear that the LED streetlight project will not take off anytime soon, a steering committee meeting on Wednesday decided to approve the purchase of replacements.

Reply after Christmas

The Corporation will send a reply to these objections after Christmas.

“There are only slim chances of the project taking off this financial year. With the Assembly elections round the corner, it will be further delayed,” says the official.

The street-light issue has come up for discussion and led to slanging matches in several council meetings in the past two years.

The UDF councillors had alleged corruption in the award of the LED street-light project to SIDCO, instead of Keltron.

The government has sent a list of four objections to the Corporation-SIDCO deal.

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