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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 July 2024

Faulty lights make Salt Lake roads unsafe

Salt Lake has 72 blocks spread across three sectors and nearly every block has roads that are lined with street lights that do not function

Snehal Sengupta Salt Lake Published 18.06.24, 07:16 AM
A dark stretch of the First Cross Road that leads to the Labony Island from Bidhannagar College.              at 8.30pm on Sunday

A dark stretch of the First Cross Road that leads to the Labony Island from Bidhannagar College.   at 8.30pm on Sunday Pictures: The Telegraph

A large number of street lights have stopped working in several areas of Salt Lake across all three sectors.

Salt Lake has 72 blocks spread across three sectors and nearly every block has roads that are lined with street lights that do not function.

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Driving or walking in Salt Lake is fraught with risk even in areas with working street lights as large canopies of trees prevent the light from the poles from illuminating the roads. The problem gets compounded since many of these stretches are ridden with craters and potholes.

At night the potholes are near impossible to spot and motorists have to rely solely only on the headlights of their vehicles.

A stretch of the Broadway with no functional street lights at 8pm on Sunday.

A stretch of the Broadway with no functional street lights at 8pm on Sunday.

On Sunday, Metro drove around the township and found that street lights had stopped working in multiple stretches in all three sectors.

All the street lights on the stretch of the First Cross Road that leads to the Labony Island from Bidhannagar College have stopped working.

Another road where dysfunctional lights have not been restored for the past several months is the Eastern Drainage Canal Road which leads to the Chingrighata intersection from Salt Lake.

This road goes past several residential blocks including EE, FB, KB, KC, and IC and housing complexes such as Mahavir Vikas, and Jal Vayu Vihar among others.

Stretches of the Broadway — that links the township with EM Bypass— also have several stretches where lights have stopped working.

Another stretch of the First Cross Road that leads into Salt Lake from the New Town-bound flank of the Salt Lake Bypass also doesn’t have a single street light that works.

This road is one of the main entry and exit points of Salt Lake and every day thousands of vehicles use this road to get into Salt Lake after exiting Chingrighata flyover.

In Salt Lake’s three sectors, there are street lights every 20-25m on the main roads and the roads that criss-cross every block. A majority of these lights — some of which had been converted to LED — have stopped working.

Nearly all the poles are wrapped up in cables of every kind. Most are bent while many list over dangerously on the roads because of their weight. The area in front of Calcutta University’s Salt Lake campus is a prime example of this.

The road that leads from the Amul Island to the Canal Bank Road of the Eastern Drainage Canal has multiple dysfunctional street lights.

The Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) is in charge of street light repairs and maintenance while the electric supply lines and cable maintenance are taken care of by the West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (WBSEDCL).

Sabyasachi Dutta, the chairperson of the BMC, admitted that several street lights don’t work.

“Several residents have complained to me about the lights. I have forwarded them to the electrical department for repairs at the earliest,” Dutta said.

Krishna Chakraborty, the mayor of the civic body, said that workmen and supervisors from the electrical department are conducting street light repairs.

According to Chakraborty each of the 41 wards will also get 20 more street lights in areas where they are required.

“We have already started repairing the street lights. In addition to this, each Ward will get 20 additional street lights,” said Chakraborty.

A senior WBSEDCL officer said that their teams conduct regular checks on street light feeders and there are no issues with the electric supply. WBSEDCL supplies electricity to street lights and is also responsible for cable maintenance.

“Our supply lines are working fine. The street lights are not working as they need maintenance as several LED posts and other lighting systems have defunct bulbs and LEDs,” said the official.

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