Ludhiana mayor threatens to terminate Tata’s contract over LED streetlights’ maintenance

Published on Aug 28, 2021 01:00 AM IST

The firm, which has been tasked with LED installation and maintenance in the city, meanwhile claimed that the maintenance has been hit as the MC has stalled its payments.

Non-functional streetlights at Model Town area near Gol Market in Ludhiana on Thursday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
Non-functional streetlights at Model Town area near Gol Market in Ludhiana on Thursday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT)
By, Ludhiana

Amid a row over missing LED streetlights, mayor Balkar Sandhu on Friday threatened to terminate Tata Projects Ltd’s contract citing shoddy work.

The firm, which has been tasked with LED installation and maintenance in the city, meanwhile claimed that the maintenance has been hit as the MC has stalled its payments.

In a statement issued after a meeting with the mayor at his camp office, Tata’s business head stated, “The company has invested crores into the project and installed over 1.2 lakh streetlights in the city. But the MC has been delaying payment to the tune of over 9 crore since last October. This is being done to push the company away from the project for the benefit of local contractors.”

The statement further read, “The company has asked the mayor to make the payment or shut the project. We have also taken up the matter at the state-level.”

Principal Secretary, local bodies department, AK Sinha has scheduled a meeting in this regard on September 4.

Mayor Sandhu said the payment will not be released till the company maintains the streetlights properly. He said, “Two years have passed since the project was commenced, but the company has failed to improve its working. Cabinet minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu and I own dairy units in Haibowal dairy complex, but even there, a large number of streetlights are non-functional. We have received several complaints from other parts of the city too. Residents are bearing the brunt of the company’s failure.”

“If the company fails to resolve the issue after the meeting with the principal secretary, I will call a meeting of the MC General House to decide whether to continue with the company or terminate its contract,” said the mayor.

Congress councillors Jai Prakash, Mamta Ashu and Gagandeep Singh (Sunny) Bhalla, who participated in the meeting, also slammed the firm’s working. Ashu said, “I had raised the issue of the company’s failure in maintenance around a year-and-a-half ago. At that time too, the company officials claimed that they will improve but nothing changed.”

Missing LED streetlights

After finding streetlights missing at around 900 points during a survey ordered by mayor Balkar Sandhu, the company officials assured that all these spots will be lighted up soon. The mayor, however, said the company has submitted its report but he is waiting for the MC report on the matter. “The exact number of missing streetlights will be clear after the MC submits its report, following which required action will be taken,” said the mayor.

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