Kochi’s MG Road in darkness due to Metro works

Kochi:  There has been no light on the 3.7-km stretch on MG Road in Kochi as it will remain in darkness until the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) completes the road widening work and shifts all streetlights from the median.

The streetlights stopped working over 45 days ago after the contract awarded to an advertisement agency expired, and the contractor removed LED lights installed on an experimental basis.

While DMRC has provided lights on stretches barricaded for the work on viaduct, other areas remain under darkness, posing a threat to pedestrians who have to also negotiate the treacherous footpath.

Though the city corporation is aware of the matter, they have failed to initiate any action, pointing instead to the burden of huge electricity bills.

Currently, streetlights are placed at a gap of 30 metres. The maintenance of streetlights across the city is awarded through tenders, but the civic body has failed to call for one after the last one expired.

Refuting the charges, town planning committee chairman K J Sohan said, “The proposal for replacing tubes on MG Road at Ravipuram was approved by the last council meeting. After identifying those that need to be replaced, tender will be floated to carry out the work.”

“The contractor, who had installed LED lights, removed it and replaced them with old tube lights when his contract period expired. They had drawn overhead cables in many areas and many were damaged. But we noticed it now only. We will take immediate steps to address the issue,” said Gopalakrishna Pillai K B, town planning officer, Kochi corporation.

Meanwhile, city residents criticized the corporation’s failure to replace tube and bulbs that are not functioning.