MADURAI: A lot of complaints on faulty streetlights still reach the Madurai Municipal Corporation even after the entire streetlights in the city are being replaced with LED lights.
The LED conversion work in 72 core city wards, which was started early in the year, is nearing completion.
Around 31,000 LED bulbs are being replaced in the city at a cost of Rs 25 crore under the Smart City Scheme. LED lights were introduced in the newly-added 28 wards a year ago by replacing around 22,000 street lights there.
But, residents say that many streetlights are not functioning. Unlike tube lights, the amount of light emitted by the LED is less and covers only a small area. V Kalamegam, a social activist from Palanganatham, said that many lights are not functioning in areas such as Nehru Nagar, Ramakrishna Street in Vaipar Salai, Max Apartment area near Madakulam, Agraharam area in Palanganatham.
"It takes a lot of time to solve the problem after residents raise the issue with the corporation. Only a few people raise complaints, while others just cope with the darkness," he said.
Senthil Kumaran, a resident of Jaihindpuram, said a few LED lights in his area are not functioning for the last 15 days. Though the residents raised the issue a couple of times, the officials failed to address the issue.
S Selvarani, a resident of Chinnakonmoi Road, said that although all the streetlights are functioning in her locality, the luminance is not adequate. Tube lights were brighter than LED lights, which covers only a small area, she said.
A corporation official said that the private contractor, who installed LED bulbs, has to maintain them for the first one year in 28 wards. But for the 72 wards, the corporation has contract employees to attend to the problems.
He said that although LED lights are known for durability, issues in line connections resulted in the complaints going up. "Complaints have been high recently due to intermittent rain. It is common for the streetlight complaints to go up during rainy season due to short circuits," the official said.
When contacted, corporation commissioner S Visakan said that the complaints were due to initial hiccups and they are working to sort out the issue.