By S.T. Ravikumar
Mysore/Mysuru: Even as city roads glitter with Dasara illumination, the Ring Road still remains partially dark due to poor lighting, which is nothing but a travesty.
Though the Government and the District Administration have been successful in attracting huge number of tourists for Dasara illumination of city roads, circles and junctions, poor lighting of the high vehicular density Ring Road, which runs up to a length of 42.5 kms has raised eyebrows of the motorists.
The Ring Road, which comes under the purview of National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), was dotted with innumerable potholes on the entire stretch. Though the authorities fixed the potholes ahead of Dasara, the service road on both sides of the Ring Road still remains dangerous for motorists as they continue to be poorly lit.
Due to malfunctioning of street-lights, the road has turned out into a hotbed of criminal, illegal and immoral activities such as robbery and dacoity, gambling, kidnapping, prostitution, eve-teasing etc. Illegal activities are more at Ring Road junctions in Hebbal, Hinkal, Bogadi, Kanakadasanagar, Devegowda Circle, Mahadevapura Circle etc.
Following the publication of a report in this regard in Mysuru Mithra and Star of Mysore recently, District Minister S.T. Somashekar, MP Pratap Simha and other elected representatives had directed the authorities to address Ring Road lighting issues and to install LED bulbs before Dasara.
Swinging into action, MUDA sanctioned Rs. 12 crore for laying of underground cables and installation of LED bulbs in all electric poles on the entire length of the Ring Road. The MUDA had released Rs.6 crore as first instalment for the purpose.
Soon after the release of funds, MCC invited tenders for the execution of works and awarded the contract to a Bengaluru-based Electrical Contractor. But the Contractor, after issuance of the Work Order, began the works just 15 days ahead of Dasara, with the digging of pit along the road for laying of underground cables on the stretch from Manipal Hospital junction on Bengaluru road up to Mahadevapura road junction.
However, the Contractor abruptly stopped the works, following which the District Minister directed the authorities to take the issue seriously and ensure that street-lights glitter on the entire length of Ring Road, with lakhs of tourists arriving in the city for Dasara. But due to official apathy, the Ring Road continues to suffer from poor lighting, while the roads in the heart of the city continue to glitter.
MCC and MUDA Commissioners react
Reacting to the issue, MCC Commissioner G. Lakshmikantha Reddy said that cable laying works for street-lights on Ring Road has begun with the digging of pits on a stretch of 30 kms. Maintaining that he could not personally inspect the works due to his Dasara engagements, he said that he will visit the spot in a day or two for getting a first-hand information on the status and progress of works.
MUDA Commissioner G.T. Dinesh Kumar said that as decided earlier, MUDA released Rs. 6 crore as first instalment three months ago for execution of works.
“MUDA is ready to immediately release the second instalment (Rs. 6 crore) too if the MCC asks us. It is the responsibility of the MCC to execute the Project and the works on which has already commenced. I will send MUDA electrical engineers to know the status of the works and get a report from them on the progress made this far,” he said.