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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Open streetlight joints inviting mishaps, MC dozes

Sanjeev Bhalla, Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, September 30, 2013
First Published: 20:42 IST(30/9/2013) | Last Updated: 20:43 IST(30/9/2013)

The promises of municipal corporation (MC) to cover the open joints of the city streetlight poles within ten days after the death of photojournalist Akhilesh Jha in September 2012 seem to have no effect so far.

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Several open poles, within human reach, across the city are inviting mishaps.

In July 2013, a special committee on streetlights headed by senior deputy mayor Kamaljeet Singh Bhatia had also penalised the contractors with fines of `35-lakh for not-fulfilling the norms of contracts.

HT team visited the Housefed quarters near Guru Gobind Singh enclave and found several poles with open joints within children's reach.

"These connections should be covered and junction boxes should be installed to avoid mishaps. Children, while playing, can be victim of these open joints," said Sanjay Rajpal, a local.

On Court Road, cable joints were seen uncovered. Junction boxes were also open and makeshift arrangement was there to switch on the light at several points. Similar conditions were seen at Basti Danish Manda, Rainak Bazar to Milap Chowk road, Basti Sheikh, Basti Bawa Khel and in Model Town. In several areas streetlights were defunct also.

MC committee had slapped a fine of `9.27-lakh for negligence in not covering the joints. People blame MC for keeping lenient approach towards contractors having political affiliations.

The city is divided into seven zones with 59647 street light points, including 310 points of 18 high masts installed across the city.

"It was proposed that contractors would open offices in each area and would install boards giving information about the contractor and supervisory staff. In my area, I have not seen any such office or information where I can contact to get the joints covered," said Jagdish Singh, a local.

Assistant Commissioner Lakhwinder Singh said, "We will issue notices to contractors for dereliction in duty. We will try to get all the open joints covered."

"We have cut the penalty imposed by the committee on contractors. We are receiving several complaints related to streetlight conditions. I have passed instructions to MC officials. If contractors fail to improve their work, we will start legal proceedings against them," Bhatia said.


 

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