Udupi, June 30, 2018: Opposition members in the CMC raised the issue of irregular functioning of street lights and that the city is in the dark for the past one month, the issue created a disturbed situation.
Raising the issue at the general body meeting here on June 29, Friday, CMC Councilor Yashpal Suvarna said the streetlights are always off and the streets in the city are dark.
The problem has persisted for six months, however, it has intensified in the past one month. The officials are lackadaisical and they do not pay attention to the grievances of the public. He added that the administration collects taxes from the public but is not offering the facilities.
Member Mahesh Takur alleged that nearly 75 percent of the 16,442 streetlights are not functioning. Officials are offering flimsy excuses and they should be rewarded for the height of irresponsibility, he added sarcastically.
He demanded clarification over the irregularity and held the Congress-led administration responsible for all the problems. He said that the development is nil.
Member Shyamprasad Kudwa said that the Car Street surrounding the temple is also dark without the lights.
Member Naveen Bhandari inquired over the maintenance amount paid to the company in charge of the streetlights.
The company in-charge should have the obligation of taking care of 50,000 hours of lighting but the lights are not even running for 1000 hours, he alleged.
Members demanded clarification on initiating action by the administration against the contractor.
Members from both the ruling party and the opposition exchanged heated arguments and the issue was dragged for more than one and half hours for the discussion.
CMC Commissioner Janardhan said that there are technical issues concerning the tendering process.
He added that tender is called and the notice is served to the earlier contractor so that he will not take part in the tendering process. His term ended on March 2018.
The earlier contractor is penalized for his irresponsibility in the bad maintenance of streetlights. He added that as many as 500 LED lights are being purchased from the GEM Company at the price of Rs 595 for each. A 1000 tube lights and 500 timers are also being purchased. As the tube lights are 8-10 years old, it requires changing and not repairs. He assured to install LED lights in 10 days.
Although MLA Raghupathi Bhat pleaded for peaceful discussion, his party members were not in a mood to compromise.
He suggested the involvement of the local contractors who can be made accountable as against the contractors who come from outside the district. The members agreed with this irrespective of their differences.
However, BJP members again targeted the ruling party for ignoring their demand for the involvement of local contractors from the beginning.
The commissioner said a company can be blacklisted only if 850 online complaints are received against the contractor as there are 17,000 street lights.
He added there are also certain technical hurdles for the involvement of the local contractor through e-procurement. He said that a comprehensive tender is called and another one month is required to set right the street lights.
Members later unanimously agreed that there is no requirement of tube lights although the maintenance cost is equal and that it should be replaced by LED lights everywhere.
The Commissioner said he would be going for LED lights all over instead of tube lights and LED Lights in ratio.