BBMP Special Commissioner Manoz Jain is monitoring the work, and the remaining 3,150 defunct street lights will be repaired in the next couple of days
Soon after Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai assured his fellow MLAs during the just-concluded assembly session that defunct street lights in Bengaluru would be repaired, BBMP has swung into action and rectified nearly 4,750 street lights in the last three days.
BBMP Chief Commissioner Gaurav Gupta tasked his fellow IAS officer, Special Commissioner (Projects) Manoz Jain, with ensuring that the city is not left in the dark, at least on major traffic-bearing roads.
Sources told TheBengaluruLive that electrical contractors had left off electrical maintenance work as BBMP has awarded the contract to Shapoorji Pallonji to replace all 4.85 lakh existing street lights with LED lights — which is expected to save around 85% of Bengaluru’s power expenses.
MLAs’ ire at company
MLAs irrespective of political affiliation had raised the issue during the assembly session and had demanded that the contract with Shapoorji Pallonji be cancelled as it had failed to replace the existing street lights with LED lights. The CM had assured the assembly that the company had been directed to erect around 3 lakh LED lights by December 2021, and that BBMP too has been directed to replace/repair defunct street lights.
Following the clear signal from the government, Manoz Jain had a recent meeting with the existing electrical contractors in the presence of the Chief Commissioner and assured them that their pending demands would be addressed, but they should continue with the repair work so that all street lights function properly.
Jain mollifies contractors
“I am aware of your (contractor) problems but as responsible people, we also have our duty towards the city and society. We have seen that the city is left in the dark at various places, which encourages criminal activities. I am here to solve your problems, but you have to undertake street light repair work immediately,” Jain reportedly told the meeting.
A top source said that BBMP has around 1,300 km of major roads which have nearly 39,500 street lights, but of these 7,900 are defunct.
After Jain’s directions, a team of contractors and electrical engineers has got on to the job and repaired nearly 4,750 street lights.
Sources said that the remaining street lights will be repaired in the next week. So far, these repaired street lights are at the Outer Ring Road at Silk Board, Bellandur, Marathalli, Mahadevapura, KR Puram, Nayandahalli and Yeshwathpur, and the intermediate ring road at Koramangala, Dairy Circle, Old Madras Road, Ballari Road, CV Raman Road, Mysuru Road, Bannerghatta Road and Kanakapura Road.