Taking a step towards better maintenance of streetlights along the arterial roads of the city, Delhi government has handed over the job to private distribution companies.
Chief minister Sheila Dikshit said private discoms will officially start maintenance of these lights from July 1. The government will pay maintenance charges to discoms on the basis of number of lights maintained by them.
The Delhi Cabinet had cleared the proposal of handing over of all streetlights in Delhi, including the ones under the NDMC and MCD jurisdiction, to private distribution companies. However, the MCD protested against the government’s decision and decided to keep the maintenance of lights under its aegis which delayed the implementation of the proposal.
In a meeting attended by the officials of the PWD, power department and the discoms, Dikshit decided to start the project by handing over streetlights along 450-kilometre PWD maintained roads. Senior Delhi government officials said the civic agencies are often blamed for poor upkeep of streetlights. “That’s why we had decided to rope in private players for the maintenance of these lights. Also, there are currently several agencies that maintain streetlights on different stretches. We wanted one agency to take up the responsibility. Since there are issues with the MCD lights, we have decided to at least start the project with the PWD lights,” an official said.
“The discoms have ample workforce and technical infrastructure to provide a better service. Private firms will be able to provide adequate attention on maintenance and proper functioning of the lights,” Dikshit said.
She has also asked the Delhi Police to keep an eye on Scada equipment, which often gets stolen. Scada is the equipment which provides information whether the streetlight is operational or not.