Airport road set to glow - AAI permits LED lights

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By Piyush Kumar Tripathi
  • Published 20.02.15
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Workers install an LED streetlight on Serpentine Road on Thursday, (below) a closer view of the modern light. Pictures by Ranjeet Kumar Dey

A light of hope is finally in sight for illumination of dark streets across the city, including the Airport Road.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) has finally given some relaxation for installation of streetlights on Shaheed Pir Ali Khan Marg, the road adjacent to the city airport.

AAI has given its consent to Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation (BUIDCo) to install (light emitting diode) LED streetlights till IAS Bhavan but denied permission for the same right in front of the runway on the airport road. The Telegraph in its edition dated January 17 had highlighted the issue of denial on installation of LED streetlights all along the Airport Road.

The much-awaited LED streetlights have been installed on Serpentine Road, which connects Hartali Mor and Beer Chand Patel Marg.

"We have erected 27 poles, along with installation of fixtures on either side of the Serpentine Road. The remaining 12 poles would be erected within two days and we expect the streetlights to be functional within a week," said a senior official in BUIDCo associated with the streetlight project.

Foundation works for installation of similar streetslights on Adalatganj Road (connecting Beer Chand Patel Marg and Buddha Marg) and Boring Canal Road is also expected to commence in a couple of days.

With regard to Airport Road, officials in BUIDCo claimed that the approval for installing the LED streetlights was verbally communicated to them on Wednesday evening.

"We have been told to carry out our works for erecting the poles till the IAS Bhavan. Earlier, we had the permission for erecting the same till the southern exit gate of the airport only. The permission for erecting the polls beyond IAS Bhavan has been denied because of aviation safety issues in operation of flights from the runway passing adjacent to the road," said the BUIDCo official.

Shaheed Pir Ali Khan Marg passes almost perpendicularly to the runway 25 (for flights taking the approach path over the zoo) at Patna airport. The northern tip of the runway 25 is not more than 50m away from the road.

According to the height-restriction norms, no object more than 10ft tall is permitted up to 100m from the boundary wall of the airport, marked as "red zone" by the AAI. Senior BUIDCo officials claimed that the height of the poles proposed to be erected for installing LED lights is 7m (23ft), 13ft more than the permissible height in the red zone of an airport.

A source claimed that sodium vapour lights on Shaheed Pir Ali Khan Marg remained switched off till 2012 for safe flight operations. In 2013, the streetlight poles were removed for widening the road.

Shaheed Pir Ali Khan Marg is one of the 13 streets recommended by Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) to be covered in the first phase of the scheme. BUIDCo sources claimed that the priority in the installation of LEDs is given to those areas, which do not even have poles for streetlights. To ensure sufficient illumination on the streets, the LEDs are being installed on 8m-high poles, after every 30m.

Though BUIDCo is installing the streetlights, the responsibility of getting electricity connections for them falls on PMC.

"The PMC is required to take electricity connection for the streetlights and make the corresponding payments to Patna Electric Supply Undertaking (Pesu). If they would not take the electricity connection on timely basis or default in making payment for the same, then this project would fail," said the BUIDCo official.

BUIDCo is required to install a total of 5,000 LED streetlights across Patna at an estimated outlay of Rs 38.5 crore.

According to sources, there are around 6,000 streetlights in Patna at present but except for VIP areas near the chief minister's residence, Raj Bhavan and roads like Bailey Road and Hardinge Road, rest of the streets are in darkness because of defunct or no streetlights.