Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Posted at: Apr 15, 2019, 7:14 AM; last updated: Apr 15, 2019, 7:14 AM (IST)OPEN HOUSE RESPONSE: NON-FUNCTIONAL STREET LIGHTS

Only funds, accountability can illuminate City Beautiful

Prune overgrown trees along roads, tap solar power, use LEDs instead of tubelights, install sensors for automatic control of lights
Only funds, accountability can illuminate City Beautiful
A cyclist pedals in the dark as street lights lie defunct on Dakshin Marg in Chandigarh. file photo

In the earlier times, one could easily drive in Chandigarh without even switching on head lights while driving a car because all roads and streets had efficient street lighting. Now, the situation is totally reverse. One can find many dark spots in the city compelling to drive vehicles on high beam, which invites a challan. It also causes accidents sometimes. Despite Rs 48-crore contract awarded to Energy Efficient Services Limited (EESL) by the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (MC), 30 to 40 per cent street lights are still non-functional in the city. The contract to replace 48,000 street lights with LEDs signed on February 15, 2017, was to be completed by Diwali the same year. Two years on, the work completion report has not been officially handed over to the MC authorities. Even the stretch in front of the Punjab Governor’s residence has several defunct lights. No penalty has been imposed on the company for missing deadlines to make street lights functional or not addressing complaints in the mandated time period. Street lighting is important for safe driving and to keep a check on criminal activities on roads or other areas during nights. 

Sanjay Chopra, Mohali

No one cares

As far as possible, I avoid driving on city roads during night as many street lights are lying defunct. Moreover, motorists, especially two-wheeler riders coming from the opposite side, drive on high beam which blinds the driver. But no one cares. The traffic police must interfere in the matter and check the nuisance.  

 RK Kapoor, Chandigarh 

Improved street lighting can reduce crime figure

It is widely accepted that improved street lighting can be an effective means of preventing crime, while police presence and visibility remain a top priority on this. Improved street lighting can help the community reduce fear, crime and public disorders like gambling in the open and drinking in streets. It is a fact that major crimes are committed in the dark, when citizens are either asleep or partying while playing loud music in their houses. It has to be noted that successful problem-oriented policing projects in crime-ridden neighbourhoods depend upon a partnership among the police, local residents, community leaders and municipal officials, including those with the electricity board. This is true not only for residential areas, but also of colleges, school campuses and markets. Improved street lighting deters potential offenders, encourages residents to take a walk after dinner and helps the police in nabbing habitual offenders. In a nutshell, street lighting ensures informal social control and community cohesion through promotion of social interaction and investment in neighborhood infrastructure.

Rajiv Boolchand Jain, Zirakpur

Darkness is cover for chain snatchers

Non-functional street lights are not only risky for drivers, but also for pedestrians. It is right that when no proper lighting is there, a driver will have to drive at high beam flouting the traffic rules within the city limits. Poor lighting also provides cover to chain snatchers, mobile snatchers and thieves. It is also a boon for eve- teasers and other anti-social elements. Women do not feel safe while walking on dimly lit roads or streets. It is one of the primary duties of the MC to make arrangements for proper lighting in all the areas of Chandigarh. Wherever a street light bulb gets fused or broken, it should be replaced immediately. From time to time, repair of street lights is mandatory. So, it is high time that the MC should wake up from its deep slumber before it gets too late.

Bir Devinder Singh Bedi, Chandigarh

Routine life not safe when street lights are defunct

Everyone knows that Chandigarh is a modern and beautiful city. Streets lights are the main part of the city’s beauty. Non-functional street lights decrease its beauty. The UT Administration can use alternative pole lights to save electricity. Criminals are more active in the dark. Besides, it’s difficult for residents to venture out with no light on roads in the night. Women and girls are also not safe in this situation. Street lights should always be functional as it can help the police perform its duty with much ease and keep anti-social elements at bay. The number of accidents will also decrease if roads are lit brightly.

Sumesh Kumar Badhwar, Mohali

Staff concerned should be held responsible 

It’s duty of the Municipal Corporation staff to keep street lights functional in the city. Mostly senior citizens are easy prey when criminals strike in the dark.  The staff concerned should be held responsible for unforeseen circumstances. 

Tarlok Singh, Mani Majra

V5, V6 roads in Sectors prone to mishaps

Except for hiking power tariff frequently to burden consumers, no maintenance of street lights is undertaken in order to keep these functional. The Administration often makes lame excuses like material not in stock when it comes to repairing street lights. So far, the target to replace old tube lights/bulbs with LEDs and light dark spots in the city has not been achieved. Roads in sectors, especially V5 and V6, where vehicles are lined up on both sides, are prone to accidents in the absence of street lights. The Administration should, therefore, instruct the Electricity Department to replenish its stores with essential items, conduct survey of street lights on daily basis without waiting for complaints and repair/replace defective lights immediately. Priority should be given to light up dark spots, which have become a den for snatchers and criminals, who escape taking advantage of the darkness.

AS Ahuja, Chandigarh

Issue must be dealt with seriously

Street lights are mostly non- functional in the city. It has happened many times that lights remain on during the whole day. This decreases their efficiency. It becomes risky to go out in the dark if street lights are not working. It increases chances of crime. If the government considers maintenance of street lights a minimal job then it should hire a private company for the purpose even if the coffers are empty.

Sukhmanpreet Kaur, Chandigarh

Remove contractors responsible for maintenance 

 There are a large numbers of street lights installed on road-sides, in parks and green-belts, which remain non-functional for months’ altogether if not years. Repeated complaints go unheard. Probably the Administration or the Municipal Corporation is shirking responsibility as the entire repair or replacement work has been given to contractors, who are hardly accessible to residents. Their own staff never visit the vulnerable areas. The much publicised citizen charter also remains on paper.  In the absence of street lights, there has been a spate of thefts and accidents, some fatal. Unscrupulous elements roam freely at night with an intention to commit crimes like chain and purse snatching. Looking at the gravity of the situation, the Administration and MC must remove contractors to mitigate the problem of tax-payers.  

 SK Khosla, Chandigarh

Dark points should be well lit

It’s not safe to walk or drive with low beam on dimly lit roads and streets. Chandigarh has all arrangements for brightening dark spots. Such spots should be categorised under frequent, lesser frequent and normal failures. All causes of failure should be analysed to take remedial actions. If cause is theft or intentional damage, then vigil should be increased on the spot by installing street lights and CCTVs. Faulty street lights should be repaired immediately. In normal failures, the replacement should be prompt. The mantra is prompt action.

Bharat Bhushan Sharma, Chandigarh

It’s dangerous to walk in dark streets

Non-functional street lights are a cause of grave concern in Chandigarh. It is difficult to walk safely in streets with dysfunctional street lights. Driving in dimly lit lanes is dangerous. Proper lighting needs to be ensured in all areas for the safety of city residents. The Administration should ensure that there is no wastage of electricity in the city. The timings of switching street lights on and off should be fixed on monthly/quarterly basis and reviewed by senior officials to save electricity. The potential to use solar lights should be explored. Low power consumption lights should be put to use. It is of utmost important to ensure proper lighting on all roads and streets in Chandigarh to save residents  and motorists from any untoward incident because safety comes first and luck afterwards.

Rajender Kumar Garg, Zirakpur

Install separate street light grids in city

Street lights are as significant and indispensable as is the need for the residential and commercial hubs. Street and road lighting is not only the sign of urban civility, but is an absolute necessity to enhance quality of life for public, drivers, riders and pedestrians keeping in view security. Chandigarh besides being the first planned city of the country carries the Smart City tag too, which is more the reason for better civic services. It is highly deplorable that many a time, we find street lights non-functional, which increases security risk for the people venturing out in the dark. Therefore, to ensure efficient street lighting, the city must be divided into different grids with dusk to dawn monitoring and a complaint centre so that faults and complaints are addressed with greater alacrity. Besides, each grid must be installed with timer and sensors for automatic control to prevent wastage of power as at times, attendants fail to regulate. Notwithstanding this, regular monitoring and surprise checks for quality service must be ensured.  

SS Arora, Mohali

MC must ensure street lights are functional

It is the primary duty of the Municipal Corporation (MC) to provide illuminated streets and roads for residents. It has been observed that most internal street lights do not function properly for days’ altogether. Roads separating sectors have many dark spots. Such poor state of affairs speaks volumes about the quality of maintenance of street and roads lights in the ‘Smart City’. LED lights may be ushered in for bright illumination and economical consumption of electricity. Pruning of overgrown trees on both sides of main roads, which obstruct the path of street lights, may be done regularly. Many fatal accidents in the city are reported owing to dim lights near rotaries/curves during the night. Sometimes bad elements take undue advantage of dark spots on roads, thus threatening safety of women and senior citizens. World class maintenance of street/road lights is needed. Sufficient funds must be at the disposal of the MC for maintenance of street lights in the City Beautiful.

Bhupinder S Sealopal, Mohali    

Difficult to drive on dark roads

Nowadays, many street lights in the city are non-functional. To solve this problem, the authorities should educate people not to break or damage street lights. If street lights are not working, the area becomes prone to thefts and all sorts of crime. It’s not at all safe to walk on a stretch with broken street lights. Drivers cannot see the road properly as the compulsory headlights on low beam are not of much use. Street lights should have LED bulbs. The authorities must ensure that street lights work in the city. Bulbs should be replaced with LEDs. Street lights should be turned off during the day time. 

Saikrit Gulati, Chandigarh

Taxes paid for upkeep of basic civic amenities 

Non-functional street lights are a challenge for the authorities. It becomes difficult for women and children to venture out in the dark as they become easy prey for snatchers and kidnappers. Even stray dog menace increases during dark. Robbers also have ample opportunities to strike at vulnerable residents. With decentralisation of power, providing basic amenities is among one of the obligatory duties of the authorities. Installation and maintenance of street lights is one of them. People are paying taxes for upkeep of basis civic amenities. Tapping solar energy for street lights is the need of the hour.

Charu Malhotra, Mohali

Chances of stalking higher in dark

It’s difficult to drive or walk on roads with non-functional street lights. From safety point of view, it is easy for bad elements to stalk and snatch on roads without light. Officials, policmen, watchmen and residents welfare associations should complain to the Electricity Department for quick repair of faulty street lights.

JS Jassal, Panchkula


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