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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Pune municipal commissioner initiates inquiry into LED lighting project

During the general body, which was marred with protests, Rao assured that the third-party audit report will be given in a week and said an internal inquiry was ordered

pune Updated: Jun 29, 2018 15:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Members of the Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) protest with umbrellas in front of Mukta Tilak, mayor, on the issue of water leakage in the new Pune municipal corporation building, during the general body meeting on Thursday.
Members of the Shiv Sena, Congress and Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) protest with umbrellas in front of Mukta Tilak, mayor, on the issue of water leakage in the new Pune municipal corporation building, during the general body meeting on Thursday. (RRAVINDRA JOSHI/HT PHOTO )

Municipal commissioner Saurabh Rao on Thursday announced that an inquiry will be initiated in the LED smart street lighting project and the third party audit will be done with the help of the College of Engineering Pune (COEP).

Avinash Bagwe, a Congress member, raised various issues regarding the project during the general body meeting held on Thursday and asked written questions about it. Bagwe raised serious allegations regarding LED procurement and even submitted some documents to support his claims. 

Along with Bagwe, other senior leaders in the Pune municipal corporation (PMC), also raised some questions in the general body meeting. Members asked whether the project really helps save energy and if, there is some difference in the power (watt) of traditional bulbs and LED bulbs. 

Some members allege that even though the contract was awarded to Tata Projects Private Limited, the company appointed another firm to carry out the work without instructing PMC. 

As the elected members raised various allegations regarding the project, the commissioner assured the general body that the detailed report will be given within a week. 

The commissioner said that before the discussions were held in the general body meeting, he too had some doubts regarding the project and had appointed COEP for conducting the third party inspection of LED bulbs and energy saved by it. The electrical department of COEP will carry out the work. 

Back in the spotlight
The Pune municipal corporation’s (PMC) Rs 16 crore light-emitting diode (LED) Smart Street Lighting project’s main objective was to save power consumption amounting to Rs 30 crore. COEP has been appointed to conduct a third party audit of the project, which is surrounded with controversy

The commissioner assured that the administration will also hold an internal inquiry in this case. 

Mukta Tilak, the mayor, also instructed the municipal commissioner to look into the issue and carry out a detailed inspection. 

Aba Bagul, Congress leader, said that according to the Municipal Act, the person who received the contract should complete it. The contractor can not appoint another person for the work without bringing it to the municipal corporation’s notice. There are many violations in the LED smart street lighting project. 

In 2016, the corporation undertook the project to change sodium vapour lights with LEDs on streets to save energy and money. The project was awarded to Tata company under a private public partnership (PPP) initiative.

Earlier, the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) has raised questions about the installation of 84,000 light-emitting diode (LED) fittings under the Pune smart street lighting project which had received the best practice award from the Central government. Into the second year of the project, PMC had reservations about the work of Tata company and has decided to appoint a third party to conduct an audit of the firm’s work.

Katraj-Kondhwa road: Tender cancelled due to admin issues

The tender for the Katraj-Kondhwa road was scrapped because of administrative issues and the civic body will issue a fresh tender very soon, said Saurabh Rao, municipal commissioner, in the PMC general body meeting.

The municipal commissioner had recently scrapped the tender for the Katraj-Kondhwa road for the fourth time. Earlier, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had cancelled the tender for the same road as the tender was 36 per cent more than the estimated cost of the project. 

Shiv Sena members on Thursday held agitations during the PMC general body meeting and said that the Katraj-Kondhwa road has become dangerous for vehicular traffic. Many heavy vehicles use the road and the population is increasing in the locality. ISKCON temple is also situated on the same road and hence, it is imperative that the road is constructed soon.

Replying to the Shiv Sena members, the commissioner said that the administration scrapped the tender as it crossed its stipulated time limit. The administration is now preparing a fresh estimate for the same road.

As of today, 42 per cent land is in the administration’s possession. The municipal administration is also acquiring the rest of the land. 

Commissioner said, “The monsoon season is going on right now and the administration would not be able to carry out the road work. The season would be utilised to complete the tender process and the PMC will start the work very soon.” 

Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chetan Tupe said that the road work should not be carried out till the civic body has possession of 80 per cent of the land.

Opposition sports umbrellas in protest

All opposition parties, including the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Congress, Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) held an agitation during the Pune municipal corporation’s general body meeting with umbrellas to condemn the water leakage problem in the new PMC building.

The PMC had inaugurated its new building in the presence of vice-president Venkaiah Naidu recently and during the programme, there was a problem of water leakage in the building. The incident caused great embarrassment for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

Opposition parties criticised the ruling BJP and said that Mukta Tilak, the mayor and BJP office-bearers unnecessarily hurried the inauguration programme, before completing the work. Since the contractor did not get enough time to complete the work, it was not done properly and left the PMC red-faced, said opposition party members.

Saurabh Rao, municipal commissioner, said that the civic body will conduct a thrid party audit of the new building and necessary action would be action against the contractor.

First Published: Jun 29, 2018 15:59 IST

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