Bengaluru: Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said three lakh such streetlights will be installed in Bengaluru by December.
Bommai replying to a question raised by Dasarahalli JD(S) MLA R Manjunath in the state assembly on the delay caused in the project to replace all street lights with energy-efficient LEDs, and the inconvenience caused to people at night due to dysfunctional streetlights.
The project to replace all streetlights with LEDs was approved in 2019, and the government entrusted this work to BSPL, a consortium of Shapoorji Pallonji, SMC Infrastructure and Samudra Electronics Systems, under a public-private partnership.
“This issue came up when I reviewed projects relating to Bengaluru after taking over as the Chief Minister. I had clearly said during the review that there is a delay in starting the work, it has to start immediately. They (company) have said the project will be completed in five phases, and it is decided that by December 31, three lakh LED bulbs have to be installed,” Bommai said.
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He said the work has begun in some places, while it is yet to start in a few places due to various reasons.
As per the project pact, 4.85 lakh street lights in the city’s municipal limits are to be replaced with LEDs in five phases, and the work was to be implemented in 30 months.
It is said that the project will lead to energy savings of up to 85 per cent.
Responding to Manjunath’s question as to what action will the government take in case of failure on part of the company, Bommai said, as per the clause of the agreement the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in case of delay or damage can impose a penalty of Rs 1 lakh per week.
Senior Congress MLA from BTM Layout Ramalinga Reddy, noting that it is the issue of all the 28 assembly constituencies in Bengaluru, pointed out that for the last three years, constituencies have not received any grants for streetlights citing the global tender for the LED project. “You can ask any MLA from the city.”
BJP MLAs Ravi Subramanya (Basavanagudi) and Arvind Limbavali (Mahadevapura) seconded Reddy’s statement.
The Chief Minister, conceding that two years of the project went into approvals and contracts, said “This was not right. This has created several dark spots in all the wards under BBMP limits.”
“I have asked officials to take up all five phases at once immediately and in case of delay, measures will also be taken to re-examine the contract. I will also issue instructions to the BBMP to do repairs and maintenance of existing streetlights,” he added.