Mysuru: Following several complaints over non-functioning streetlights on the Outer Ring Road (ORR) since a few months which had resulted in the ORR plunging into darkness, Mysuru-Kodagu MP Pratap Simha held a meeting at his office in Jaladarshini Guest House on Hunsur Road yesterday.
The meeting that was held with the officials of Mysuru City Corporation (MCC), Mysuru Urban Development Authority (MUDA) and National Highways discussed on who would maintain the streetlights and pay electricity charges.
The streetlights that were installed as part of the revamping project undertaken on the Outer Ring Road have been defunct for the past one year. The dark road has turned into a den for anti-social elements with many commuters, especially women, complaining about youngsters drinking liquor on the roadside or inside their vehicles.
There was a row between MCC, MUDA and National Highways on who should be maintaining the streetlights on the 42.5-km long six-lane Outer Ring Road (ORR). If the road is illuminated on some stretches, some places turn pitch dark after dusk with no light, posing a risk to the safety of pedestrians and motorists. Moreover, certain patches of the road have peeled off and there are potholes too as trucks often use this road.
In most places, streetlights are not working because of fused bulbs, damage to wires, disruption in power supply and other reasons. Whoever maintains the streetlights would incur an expenditure of Rs. 2 crore a year for maintaining streetlights and pay electricity charges. This had become a bone of contention between MCC, MUDA and National Highways.
MUDA Superintending Engineer Suresh Babu, who represented MUDA, agreed to maintain the streetlights and pay power charges for three months. Later, MCC will take over the streetlight maintenance.
CONCERNS ON ACCIDENTS
Expressing concerns over the rise in accidents on the Outer Ring Road, the MP said that accidents have increased manifold and illegal activities were rampant. “Despite Supreme Court’s ban on bars and liquor outlets close to Highways, many of them are blatantly violating the rules and you officers have turned a blind eye to this,” he told officials.
“These bars have become a public nuisance and apart from drunken driving, visitors to the bars park their vehicles haphazardly on roadsides preventing the smooth movement of the vehicles,” he charged.
Simha also expressed dissatisfaction with the quality of the asphalting work and said vast stretches of the road were pothole-ridden. He also urged MCC authorities to take cognisance of trash being unloaded on the sides of the Ring Road.
Making it clear that illumining ORR was to be their top priority over the next three months, Simha told MUDA authorities that maintenance of the road would be their responsibility in that period.
Meanwhile, MCC Executive Engineer (Electrical) Lakshmanagowda said that the issue pertaining to the maintenance of streetlights by the MCC should be discussed during the MCC Council meeting as there were a lot of procedures to be followed. He sought three months time. Pratap Simha told Lakshmanagowda to complete all procedures within three months and not give any excuses later.
On the occasion, the 4.3 km stretch of the ORR starting from Bandipalya Junction to H.D. Kote Road was formally transferred by MUDA Superintending Engineer Suresh Babu to National Highways Assistant Executive Engineer Chandrappa. MUDA Assistant Executive Engineers Mahesh Babu and Satish, Corporator Shivakumar and other officials were present at the meeting.
LED bulbs for streetlights
A proposal has been sent to the Directorate of Municipal Administration to upgrade the existing streetlights within the MCC limits with LED bulbs so that better visibility is provided. This will also save electricity to the City Corporation.
Lakshmanagowda told the meeting that there are over 61,501 streetlights and out of this only 8,432 LED bulbs and the rest that have tube-lights, sodium lights or incandescent bulbs. The MCC will need Rs. 1 crore to replace all the bulbs with LED bulbs and once the Directorate approves, the work will be taken up, Lakshmanagowda said.