VIJAYAWADA: Contrary to Vijayawada Municipal Corporation’s (VMC) claim that electricity bills have nosedived following the installation of LED bulbs, corporators of even the ruling Telugu Desam Party say that besides saving power charges, the defunct bulbs are not serving any purpose to the commuters.
‘’What is the use of installing LED bulbs across the city when they remain non-functional,” questioned the TDP corporators and raised the issue before Mayor Koneru Sreedhar at the council meeting held recently. Since the last few months, several parts of the city have been engulfed in darkness due to the non-functional streetlights.
The Energy Efficiency Service Limited (EESL), which was entrusted the responsibility of replacing ordinary street lights with LEDs in the city termed it as a teething problem as the project is still underway in the city. The civic body has so far given `4.17 crore to ESSL, to set up the solar panels and install LED bulbs across its office premises.
When TNIE inspected the non-functional lights in various areas, including main roads, it found that in some locations the lights remain on even at broad daylight. TDP corporator G Mahesh said several streets in his ward remain dark because of the non-functional streetlights.
“I have complained to the EESL representatives in this regard. They asked me to first purchase the required bulbs citing that it will take them a long time to procure the bulbs from the company,” informed Mahesh.
YSRC corporator B Vijay Kumar said that despite LED bulbs placed in his ward, the area remains to pitch dark and has become a meeting point for the blade batches and youth to gather at night and raise the roof, causing much inconvenience to the residents. The civic body should immediately look into the issue as residents fear to roam the streets during the evenings, he said.When contacted, Municipal Commissioner J Nivas admitted that 3,000 LED bulbs remained non-functional across the city.
The issue has been taken to the notice of Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu who has directed VMC to reduce 10 percent from the total payments as the company failed to replace the defunct bulbs with new ones. A fine of `9,000 will be imposed on EESL company for the inordinate delay in replacing the defunct LED bulbs, he said. A team of officials have also been appointed to identify the areas where there is a need for installing the LED bulbs. ‘’Around 3,000-4,000 LED bulbs will be installed in the city in the next few weeks and the non-functional bulbs will be replaced in a phased manner,” Nivas said.