Rs30 crore in drain as MCD's streetlight project shuts down | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Rs30 crore in drain as MCD's streetlight project shuts down

delhi Updated: Dec 17, 2011 23:16 IST
Hamari Jamatia
Hamari Jamatia
Hindustan Times
Hamari Jamatia

If the streetlights in your locality are flickering towards their end, more may follow suit. The Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) -that had earlier launched an ambitious project to put up energy efficient streetlights on Delhi roads - has shut down the project, with the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chargesheeting the firm responsible for the installation.

The firm had put up 4,400 streetlights in areas such as Karol Bagh, DU, RK Puram and Lodhi Road, half of which are not working at present.

The non-functional streetlights may be traced back to the alleged fraud during Commonwealth Games. Before the Games, the MCD had launched the country's first remote-controlled streetlights that could be switched on and off using an internet-enabled main server located in the heart of the city.

After the chargesheet in July, all work on the project stopped and with time, nearly half of the lights have stopped working for want of maintenance.

In the first phase, the firm installed streetlights on roads that were 100 ft wide or above. In the second phase, the contractor installed streetlights on roads that were at least 80 ft wide. In total, 4,400 of the agreed 5,800 streetlights had been installed and the MCD was in talks to allow a third phase of the scheme aimed at energy conservation.

The contract was worth more than Rs30 crore. According to an official of MCD, the agency is trying to bring the project back to life but will have to undergo another round of tendering exercise before any attempt can be made at reviving it.

Jagdish Mamgain, Chairman of Works Committee, said that MCD at times does the maintenance but not at an extensive level.

"The corporation is wasting crores of money by letting the project go to waste. Every time a project gets embroiled in a legal battle, it is discarded like it happened with school desks and signages scheme," he said.