Getting a non-functional streetlight repaired near your house would not be difficult now. Delhi Cabinet on Monday gave its go-ahead to bring streetlights of the entire city under the ambit of the power distribution committees.
According to senior Delhi government officials the civic agencies are often blamed for poor upkeep of streetlights and they will now handover the job of maintenance and repair of streetlights to the power discoms that supply electricity to those lights.
"It is necessary in view of the safety of the common man. Discoms will take over this work as they have ample workforce and technical infrastructure to provide a better and well-managed service," chief minister Sheila Dikshit said.
Officials said there are about 3.5 lakh streetlights in the Capital managed by several agencies. All lights, except the ones managed by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) will be transferred to the discoms.
"To keep the accounts separate, the discoms will have to create separate subsidiaries to maintain the lights otherwise it will be factored in the electricity tariff. The government will bear the cost of maintaining streetlights," Delhi chief secretary Rakesh Mehta said.
According to officials, Delhi government will pay about R80 crore every year to the discoms to maintain lights. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) also charges residents about R100 crore through taxes for streetlight maintenance, which the Delhi government will now adjust in the funds it allocates to the civic agency every year.