Non-availability of street light bulbs with JMC makes Jammu dim, risk prone to crimes

A city street in dark due to off street lights.
A city street in dark due to off street lights.

Nishikant Khajuria
JAMMU, Aug 20: In addition to frequent and unscheduled shut down by the Power Development Department, non availability of street light fittings with Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) is acting as catalyst in plunging winter capital of the State into darkness.
Contrary to tall claims of the Government making Jammu Municipal Corporation limits dark free zone, the prevailing crisis is turning even illuminated areas of the city into dim. Almost half the number of street lights in Jammu city are non-functional while hundreds of complaints are lying unattended for the last several weeks.
The prevailing situation has not only increased the risk of chain snatching incidents and other such crimes in the city during evening hours but also created hindrance for Police patrolling to keep a check on anti-social elements.
Official sources told the Excelsior that the new fitting is not available with the JMC for the last two months while spare parts of the street lights are also getting out of stock with the result that authorities are finding it difficult to cope up with the situation and address general public complaints regarding darkness in their respective areas.
Unprecedented delay in implementation of Government of India’s much talked about multi-crore scheme of replacing all Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and other lights with Light-Emitting Diodes (LEDs) as well as poor response to the bids invited for the supply of spare parts are the main reasons for the prevailing crisis, sources added.
While elaborating, sources informed that despite compilation of data and submission of the same last year to Energy Efficiency Services Ltd, the Central agency entrusted the job of replacing all CFL and other lights with LEDs here, there has been no further progress on the project for the reasons best known to the concerned authorities.
On the other hand, sources added, the proposed EESL scheme forced JMC authorities to avoid fresh purchase of CFL and other then LED lights for installation and replacement purpose in the streets of Jammu city. Further, owing to poor response to the tenders floated twice, JMC could not purchase spare parts of the street lights with the result that authorities are planning to invite bids for the third time in next few days.
The situation has led to non-availability of street lights and shortage of spare parts with JMC thus plunging several areas of the Jammu city into darkness.
When contacted, JMC Commissioner M Raju informed that keeping in view the delay on part of Energy Efficiency Service Ltd (EESL) in starting on installing LEDs and emergency requirement, he has given approval for purchase of 1500 CFLs. “Tender in this regard is being floated soon while process is also on for inviting fresh bids to purchase spare parts so that public may not suffer and general complaints are addressed,” he added.
However, sources maintained that despite initiation of process, this exercise will take around two month for purchase of new bulbs and spare parts and hence the prevailing situation will continue till then.

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