At a time when the Srinagar Municipal Corporation has been claiming of making the beautification of the Srinagar city, it has allegedly failed to repair the street lights that have gone defunct over the years. Sources in the corporation said that despite the corporation receives crores of rupees annually from the government for beautification of the Srinagar city, it has failed to repair the street lights, an important aspect to beautify a city. “The SMC has installed over 50,000 street lights for the last eight years in Srinagar. Surprisingly, the 60 percent of them are lying defunct due to lack of man power. Majority parts of Srinagar remain gloom during evening and night hours due to defunct streets lights and it has been seen that people feel scared to venture out of their homes during the evening hours. The SMC comes under Housing and Urban Development Department, the portfolio holding by the Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh. Official sources told KNS that there is not a single skilled employee to look after the maintenance of over 50,000 sodium-vapour street lights in Srinagar city that have been installed since 2007. “We have only few need basis employees who are repairing these lights but they are not the skilled ones. We have raised this issue with the higher authorities but to no avail,” an official of SMC said. He said they need to have a full-fledged division of skilled men for maintenance of streets lights. These need basis employees of 10 to 12 in number are not able to climb up the poles then how can they repair these street lights properly,” he said. Mohammad Shafi, a resident of Fateh kadal said most of the street lights are lying defunct in the area due to lack of manpower. “We have already raised this issue with the government but no one is paying heed to our requests,” Shafi said. Meanwhile, a senior official admitted that majority of street lights of SMC were lying defunct. “We lack the skilled staff to make restoration of defunct street lights in Srinagar. But we are making efforts to overcome the shortage of trained staff for repairing of street lights,” the official said.
2015 Kashmir Despatch