Make streetlights essential service: BBMP Council

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This would enable contractors to get their dues on time and the public would not be inconvenienced.

Mayor Sampath Raj presiding over Council meeting (Image: DC)

Bengaluru: Following an uproar from the public over last week when BBMP electrical contractors went on a flash strike and switched off streetlights, turning the roads dark, corporators from all parties suggested that the Palike administration should consider streetlights as an essential service. 

This would enable contractors to get their dues on time and the public would not be inconvenienced. Former mayor Katte Satyanarayan said that the flash strike distressed the public as lights were turned off on roads and in parks. The people also complained that crimes had gone up because of lack of illumination, he said.

Mayor Sampath Raj said that at the last meeting, solid waste management, drinking water supply and street light maintenance were considered to be put under the essential services list. "Though officials have been told to clear the dues, why is there a delay," he asked. 

Jayamahal corporator M.K. Gunashekar suggested that during emergency situations, the BBMP commissioner can consider such services essential and clear the dues which can be approved in the Council. "Unfortunately, the officials were not taking lead," he said.

BBMP Commissioner Maheshwar Rao said that the bills are being cleared as per seniority as directed by the high court. If the council decides the streetlight maintenance an essential service, payments will be made on priority, he said. 

Corporator Raju said that allowing commercial activities by BMRCL on footpaths has hampered the movement of pedestrians. "Also, motorists are parking their vehicles in residential areas inconveniencing the public. The BBMP should take a stand," he suggested. 

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