Light at the end of the tunnel, your ward in this case
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Light at the end of the tunnel, your ward in this case

How to get your street lit? What can a taxpayer do to get his basic right delivered? City Spidey finds out for you.

Light at the end of the tunnel, your ward in this case

Here is a trick question that might confuse even the smartest urbanite: How to get your street lit? Gurgaon, now renamed Gurugram, and grandiosely referred to us Millennium City, has long stretches of dark with either poorly lit streets or with no streetlights at all. 

What can a taxpayer do to get his basic right delivered? Here is a guide pieced together by City Spidey with a caveat: We do not vouchsafe its success!

Puzzle 1: How to get a street light when you have none? 

According to MCG, residents desiring for installation of streetlights can approach the ward councillor, mayor, executive engineer, chief engineer, joint commissioner, or the commissioner of the MCG to initiate the process. They can either approach them personally, or send them a letter or email, seeking the lights.

This is expected to set into motion the official machinery. In officialese: “The official thus approached then forwards the request to a technician from the engineering department, who undertakes a visit to the concerned spot, to ascertain whether or not there is a need for the facility in the recommended place at all, and, if the credibility of the request is confirmed, to determine how many street lights are required.”

All requests eventually reach MCG, as ultimately it is their job to deliver the amenity. 

According to Yashpal Yadav, Commissioner MCG, “once a request or demand for a streetlight comes to the corporation, an official is assigned to verify all the parameters needed for the installation of a streetlight, and ascertain if a need for the facility exists.”

If the officials are convinced of the need they in turn inform Dakshin Haryana Bijli Vitran Nigam or (DHBVN). The electricity authorities determine the nearest underground cables or overhead high tension wires from which the electricity is drawn.

The electricity officials have other parameters to check. For instance they would look for any existing “non-functional street light at the spot” that can be repaired or “upgraded”. If the street light is completely absent they of course adopt a different strategy. 

To calculate the illumination levels the department also take into account the number of pedestrians or motor vehicles accessing the area, and based on that determine the number of streetlights that needs to be installed.

Now comes the elephant in the room: finances. Once all the parameters are satisfied the department would look for financial allocations. If the place is already included or earmarked in a state or central government sponsored project, it could be a breeze. For instance there is a Street Lighting National Program called (SLNP) through which MCG is installing 57 thousands lights across the city. 

If your choice of place is not that lucky, the request goes back to square one where the cost of the project needs to be estimated. If it is “too high” MCG should seek approval from the finance and contract committee (F&CC) before executing it. 

If the cost were “nominal” the engineering department can begin work after simply obtaining clearance from “higher authorities” in MCG.

If you are lucky the whole process may take more than six months to complete.