Contractors, who had cheated the civic body by installing cheaper merc ur y bu lb s i n th e s t re e t - lights of major city roads, have finally come into action and started replacing these cheaper lamps with mandated metal-halide (MH) lamps on various points.
Causing a huge loss to the municipal corporation (MC), the contractors in connivance with some MC officials lights wing had installed cheaper mercury lamps at ne a rly 2,000 points on Ferozepur Road and elevated road from Jagraon Bridge while they were given directions to install MH lamps.
MC commissioner Pradeep Agarwal had directed the contractors to install metal-halide bulbs and also assured that they would take appropriate action against the guilty.
According to an official, the cost of one metal-halide lamp is around ` 800, while a mercury bulb of same capacity costs between Rs 200 and Rs300.
The MC had allotted contract for maintenance of the street lights on Ferozepur Road to contractor Manmohan Singh, while contractor Rajeev Enter prises was given the responsibility of streetlights on elevated road from Jagraon Bridge.
SP Singh, superintending engineer (lights), said: “We have stopped the contractors’ payment which has been pending for the last two to three months after we came to know about installation of cheaper mercury.”
It is pertinent to mention here that the matter had come to fore when deputy mayor RD Sharma had informed the MC commissioner about the irregularity following which the latter and other MC officials conducted inspection and confirmed about the scam.
Manjeet Singh Mehram, a resident, said: “The MC should conduct proper inquiry into the case and punish the contractor and guilty officials. The contractors should be blacklisted.”
Jila Ram Bansal, who is president of PAU Member of the Retirees’ Welfare Association, said: “A proper inquiry should be conducted and if contractors are guilty then these should be blacklisted.”
Additional commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said: “We have started the work of replacing mercury lamps. We will take next decision only after installation of metal-halide lamps.”