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Andhra Pradesh - Hyderabad Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Streetlights go into private hands

By Our Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD, AUG. 18. Dark spots in the Capital roads and colonies could get brighter soon with the Municipal Corporation of Hyderabad (MCH) finally allotting maintenance contracts of conventional streetlights numbering more than a lakh, to 12 private parties by draw of lots here on Wednesday.

Divisions

The city has been divided into 13 packages based on sub-divisions and geographical aspects of the Andhra Pradesh Central Power Distribution Company Limited (APCPDCL). "Work will start in few days time and within a month or so, the entire infrastructure for proper illumination of streetlights will be in place. Glowing percentage will be increased to 95 per cent in two months as per international norms. We will closely monitor the maintenance work," the MCH Commissioner, Chitra Ramachandran, said.

Turnkey contracts

The MCH has given contracts on a turnkey basis so that the private parties themselves will procure the material and maintain streetlights in all respects. The contract period is for a year and could be extended up to three years at the same unit price decided in the tenders. Unit rates were referred to APCPDCL for technical opinion and prepared. The civic body was grappling with the issue for the last few months, after the Government had entrusted the responsibility of maintaining streetlights to it, from the APCPDCL, from January 1, 2004. Existing parties contracted by the power company were allowed to continue till the MCH called for fresh tenders. New norms were issued but tenders had to be cancelled twice due to high figures quoted even as complaints came in about malfunctioning of streetlights in several areas.

Directives

Now, the selected parties have been directed to set up administrative offices in their respective jurisdiction for all the 13 packages for attending complaints. These offices will be linked to the proposed call centre of the MCH. Any complaint has to be attended in 48 hours and each contractor has to have a ladder-mounted vehicle for the same.

Numbering

It has also been decided to number each and every street pole, which will also have details of the area code and package number to make it easy for people to identify and lodge complaints.

Interestingly, the MCH is also likely to save some money because the estimated cost of maintenance is put at Rs. 4.2 crores excluding administration charges whereas it was paying nearly Rs. 7 crores to the CPDCL for the same job.

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