16,498 streetlights defunct; BBMP fines contractors Rs 50L

16,498 streetlights defunct; BBMP fines contractors Rs 50L

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has imposed Rs 49.52 lakh as penalty on contractors for dysfunctional streetlights in the City.

Following complaints that streetlights are not working in many localities, the BBMP had formed 264 teams of three ward engineers each to inspect all wards. The team inspected the condition of streetlights and submitted a detailed report. The report has found that out of 4.53 lakh streetlights, 16,498 are not functional. Hence, the BBMP imposed penalty on contractors who maintain the streetlights.

BBMP Commissioner G Kumar Naik said that it was for the first time that the civic agency had formed teams with the sole intention of monitoring and evaluating streetlights. “Through these teams, we can cover each part of the City in a methodical way and find out how many streetlights are not working. There have been complaints in the past about streetlights not working and hence we took this step. Each team will inspect the respective ward on a monthly basis,” he told Deccan Herald.

About a month ago, streetlight contractors had staged a demonstration against non-payment of their dues which they claimed were close to Rs 25.5 crore. Naik had then assured them that a part of their dues would be released at the earliest. In the meantime, an investigation was carried out at the ward level.

P Gopalakrishna, Executive Engineer, Jayanagar East (Ward No 47), said the first inspection was conducted in May and the second on June 6. “In my locality, about 152 streetlights were found defunct during the second inspection. We have submitted the report to the BBMP’s zonal electrical executive engineer with details such as number of streetlights not working in the ward and which street they are located in. The electrical executive engineer will in turn consolidate the data and take the required action,” he added.

Ward engineers, who are part of the team, said that while they visited the core streets, three to four workers under them were instructed to cover every street in the ward and take note of dysfunctional lights. A total of 27 higher officials comprising zonal commissioners, joint commissioners and chief engineers have been appointed nodal officers to monitor the work of ward engineers and the teams.

In Malleswaram (Ward No 45), 65-70 streetlights were found to be dysfunctional during the recent inspection. Joint Commissioner, Dasarahalli zone, V Doddappa, said that 668 out of the 20,906 streetlights in his zone were found defunct during the June 6 inspection. “We have slapped fine on streetlight installation contractors as they were found negligent,” he said.

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