Life in Gurgaon

At the current pace of work, Gurguram will be fully lit by July, says MCG commissioner

Source: Hindustan Times

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The Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) is on the verge of completing the installation of 57,000 LED-efficient streetlights across the city. In an interview with Hindustan Times, MCG commissioner Yashpal Yadav talks about the challenges in installing streetlights, as highlighted by HT in its three-part series on streetlights and why the city has remained poorly illuminated so far.

By when can we expect Gurugram to be fully lit?

LED streetlights are being installed under the Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) of the Central government, thereby, making Gurugram the first city in Haryana to adopt this programme. If the work continues at the same pace and there is no obstacle, the MCG should be able to install new streetlights in all 35 of its wards by July. The task of connecting all the lights through a single circuit cable, which will allow officials to regulate the facility from a central control system, will take another six months.

Why has Gurugram remained poorly lit so far?

There are multiple reasons for this. Firstly, the city witnessed an unprecedented growth in the late 1990s and the early 2000s, and the civic amenities, such as streetlights, water supply, waste disposal and drainage system, were simply unequipped to handle this load.

Once the MCG was formed in 2008, the task of improving each of these aspects was taken upon individually.

Secondly, most of the streetlights the MCG took over initially had been constructed by other civic bodies, such as Huda and HSIIDC, and a lot of time was initially spent in consolidating information about determining the locations, quantities and condition of the streetlights.

The MCG soon discovered that sodium vapour bulbs, besides consuming a large amount of power, were extremely unreliable and prone to malfunction. The exposed circuit system of the streetlights also made them vulnerable to theft. Hence, the MCG chanced upon the Street Lighting National Programme (SLNP) of the central government and became the first civic body in the state to be inducted under this programme.

It is said there are differences between Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam (DHBVN) and the MCG over maintenance of streetlights. Was this a factor in some areas of the city not receiving adequate power?

The MCG works in tandem with all public bodies in the city and I wouldn’t like to comment on speculation. The project was initially expected to be completed by January, but some changes delayed proceedings.

Can you elaborate on these?

As per the initial agreement with Energy Efficiency

Services Limited (EESL), signed in October, around 49,000 sodium vapour bulbs were to be replaced with LED lights, which would save up to 13 million unit of power

annually and reduce the power consumption by 55%. However, when work commenced on the project, we discovered that the infrastructure, such as the electric cables and streetlight poles, needed to be changed.

Why were the changes necessary?

The idea is to connect all streetlights in the city to one central system, from where all lights can be monitored and checked to ensure they are working. All streetlights need to be connected with a single-circuit cable for this and, hence, upgrading the infrastructure is necessary.

Can you detail the specifics of the change?

A project that was meant to replace 49,000 sodium vapour bulbs with LED light bulbs, now, instead, is refocused on replacing 49,000 streetlights and installing 8,000 new ones in the city. The projected cost, hence, was revised from Rs50 crore to Rs92 crore, and the revised project was approved by the Urban Local Bodies (ULB) in February. Accordingly, work on the updated project commenced in March.

Is MCG responsible for the maintenance of the streetlights?

No. As per the agreement, EESL will look after the maintenance of streetlights for 10 years and the MCG will provide the infrastructure.