Give us back our streetlights, say Madhavaram residents

Chennai: What Panchayat Union does, Electricity Board does not know. This is apparently the case in the CMDA-approved layout, Sri Ranga Cooperative Nagar, Vadaperumbakkam, in Madhavaram. Being tired of petitioning all the authorities possible – including the Chief Minister’s cell – to fix streetlights after robberies became a regular affair in their area, the residents put up lamp posts by spending from their pockets.

Siva Prakash, a resident of the nagar, said, “It is too risky to use these roads after sunset. Robberies were common in the area. We have raised the issue several times in grama sabha meetings also, but nothing was done about it.” The residents claim they installed lamp posts in the streets with the help of Pulli Lyon panchayat office (which has jurisdiction over the area) as there were no streetlights. But, post-Vardah, the lamp posts were damaged and they weren’t replaced.

Sithara Chandran, another resident of the locality, said, “Post-Vardah, a few people, who claimed to have come from the Electricity Board office, cleared all the lamp posts while removing the debris.”’ After they complained to the CM’s cell, seeking streetlights and roads, the BDO of Puzhal Panchayat Union, C Rajendhran, addressed a letter to the Sri Ranga Cooperative Nagar Residents’ Welfare Association 5 December 2017, saying the streetlights have been restored completely, and roads will be laid in the next financial year.

But an official from the Vadaperumbakkam Electricity Board (which supplies power to the nagar) claimed that, “We have thoroughly checked our records; we have records for providing electricity to the houses but there is no record with the EB office for supplying electricity to streetlights in Sri Ranga Cooperative Nagar.”

When News Today called BDO Rajendhran, he refused to comment on the confusion.

“Sri Ranga Cooperative Nagar has three plots allocated for parks, one plot for school and one overhead water tank. As of now, the play areas are poorly maintained and the water tank has not been used since it was constructed and it has not been connected to any of the houses,” said Siva Prakash, a resident of the nagar. “We don’t have proper roads, streetlights, proper garbage disposal system or burial ground, most of the roads are mud roads except for the main road, which is also not in a good condition,”’ he listed out the complaints. The locals claimed they have filed many petitions with Pulli Lyon panchayat office, Member of Parliament Venugopal, and even the Chief Minister’s cell but they are yet to see any improvement in their living condition.


M Anandavalli