Kochi: High-mast lights are for namesake

Deccan Chronicle.  | Deccan Chronicle

Nation, Current Affairs

The city residents are accusing the Corporation authorities of taking a negligent attitude to the issue.

A dispute over who should foot the high electricity bill, which is around Rs 5-6000 a month, is said to be the reason behind the defunct high-mast lights.

Kochi: Take this: passengers alighting at Ernakulam North railway station step into pitch darkness while exiting through the main entrance.

A majority of the high mast lights in the city, including the ones in front of the North railway station and that at Paramara Road set up only a few months ago are not functioning.

Often, the matter snowballs into a security issues as anti-social elements can have a free reign in the absence of lights. The city residents are accusing the Corporation authorities of taking a negligent attitude to the issue.

“It was after a year of setting up the high mast pole that the lights were fitted at the one before the Ernakulam North railway station in September. However, all the four are not functioning since November 18,” said M R Rajendran Nair, president of the Anti-Corruption Peoples’ Movement.

He said the area is frequented by anti-social elements once darkness sets in and presents a threat to families arrive at the station. “We demand a probe into the whole affair. Each of the highmast lights cost as high as Rs 9.6 lakh. Usually they enter into annual maintenance contact for maintenance of street lights. No such arrangement is seen here,” he added.

Meanwhile, a dispute over who should foot the high electricity bill is said to be the reason behind the defunct high-mast lights. While most of such lighting provision is funded by the respective MLA/ MP fund, the corporation is tasked with meeting the high power cost.

“Often the monthly electricity charge will come to Rs 5000-6000. The MPs/MLAs will get the good name while we’re forced to find extra resources to pay the bills,” said Gracy Joseph, Kathrikadavu councillor.

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