Udupi, Nov 01, 2017: The issue of failure of street lamps dominated the general body meeting of the Udupi City Municipal Council (CMC) here on Oct 31, Tuesday.
Raising the issue, Yashpal Suvarna, councillor, said that many street lamps were not functioning. No action was being taken by the contractor even when complaints were given about it. The contractor was not from Udupi and hence, did not even know the address of certain places. The street lamps in Ajjarkad and Lal Bahadur Shastri Road were not functioning at all, he said.
Amrita Krishnamurthy, councillor, said that the contractor was removing lamps that were functioning from some poles and fixing them to poles from where complaints were coming. This was a wrong solution to a problem, she said.
Vasanti Shetty, councillor, said that the lamps were not functioning in the Ambalpady Beedu area. In some places, the timers were not functioning, with the result, the lamps were on the whole day, she said.
Shashidhar Hegde, assistant engineer, CMC, said that there were 750 controls for the street lamps. They were being changed in phases. Nearly 70 % of timers had been changed and the remaining would be changed soon. All complaints had to be made online. Besides, due to the Goods and Services Tax issue, the lamp spares were not easily available, he said.
Chandrakanth, councillor, said that it was no longer possible for the councillors to tolerate the complaints from the general public about the street lamps. It made no difference whether the complaints were made online or to the personnel of the CMC, he said.
Intervening, Meenakshi Bannanje, CMC president, said that due to lightning, which occurred some days ago in the city, nearly 1,600 lamps were damaged in a single night. These lamps were being replaced in phases, she said.
Prashanth Bhat, councillor, said that the street lamps were not functioning even before the lightning strike. Hegde said that the lamps not functioning in the Moodu Perampalli area had more to do with trees and branches which kept falling on the electricity lines. Suvarna said that solar lamps should be installed at the Bhujanga Park in Ajjarkad as senior citizens came for their walking there at 5.30 a.m. and also went walking late in the evening till 8 p.m.
It was finally decided to take all the councillors into confidence and solve the issue of street lamps.