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With 2.1 lakh streetlights, Delhi CM goes after capital’s dark spots

The government, in a statement, said the project, where the capacity enhancement would be about 30%, has no parallels globally. There are currently around 7 lakh streetlights in the capital.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: September 24, 2019 8:53:45 am
delhi street lights, aam aadmi party, arvind kejriwal cctv delhi, kejriwal delhi chief minister The CM said discoms will take care of installation, maintenance.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal announced Monday that the Delhi government will start installing 2.10 lakh streetlights — globally the biggest such capacity enhancement — to illuminate dark spots from November 1 through a participatory model involving MLAs and residents.

The government, in a statement, said the project, where the capacity enhancement would be about 30%, has no parallels globally. There are currently around 7 lakh streetlights in the capital.

The Rs 100-crore project, named ‘Mukhyamantri Street Light Scheme’, will be executed in line with the model being followed in installing around 3 lakh CCTVs, the CM said at a press conference, terming it as the “biggest step yet for women’s safety”.

delhi street lights, aam aadmi party, arvind kejriwal cctv delhi, kejriwal delhi chief minister

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Under the scheme, MLAs and residents will jointly identify dark spots, which will then be checked by private discoms — BRPL, BYPL and TPDDL — for feasibility. “The discoms will be responsible for installation and maintenance of the lights. We will reimburse them,” Kejriwal said.

Explained: Do better-lit streets really make a city safer? Here’s what research shows

Over the years, multiplicity of authorities in Delhi has emerged as a major stumbling block in installation of streetlights. Due to lack of coordination between the elected government and municipal bodies, streetlights could not be installed despite identification of dark spots, mainly due to tussle over land to install poles. Space crunch in unauthorised colonies was another factor that hindered the process.

“In this case, MLAs and residents will identify spots, which can be someone’s residence even. Every such household will have to give a consent letter and we will get the lights installed. They will get rebates on power bills based on the power drawn by the lights,” the CM said, adding, “Lights installed under the scheme will have sensors; it will automatically turn on and off.”

delhi street lights, aam aadmi party, arvind kejriwal cctv delhi, kejriwal delhi chief minister

In the CCTV project too, the government is providing rebates in power bills for houses that have given space to install cameras.
Kejriwal said the execution will take around two-three months. Apart from the one-time installation cost of Rs 100 crore, the tender component will also have an Annual Maintenance Clause of Rs 10 crore, he said.

Kejriwal alleged that the MCDs, governed by the BJP, were “refusing” to give NOCs to set up streetlights. “In this case, permission of only the MLA and building owner is required,” he said.

North MCD standing committee chairperson Jai Prakash said: “The corporation has always supported any development initiative by any agency. But since he (CM) did not care about this for the past four years, he is now blaming us…”

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