ISLAMABAD  -   Amidst the murky fog in the federal capital, faulty street lights in specific sectors have been adding to woes of the capital’s residents, by hampering their movement at night and is creating a sense of insecurity.

Residents have called for immediate repair of dysfunctional street lights in order to ensure their safety at night. They deplored that they have to stay at home during late hours due to darkness at specific streets of the localities. Shakeel Raja, a resident of G-9, said complaints had been lodged with the authorities concerned but the issue was still lingering. He said as dense fog has engulfed the area, non-functional lights have only aggravated the situation.

Another motorist Ibrar Ali Shah said he commuted on Kashmir Highway daily but has only seen these lights functional occasionally which raises a question over the performance of civic agency, mandated to ensure their repair and maintenance.  He informed some incidents of bike and mobile snatching had been reported in the past, apparently due to availability of blind spots to criminals because of faulty street lights. When contacted, both Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) shifted the responsibility on each other for this delay.

According to an official of CDA, the department concerned had allocated over Rs 180 million for installation of new and fixation of non-operational street lights during Fiscal Year 2018-19 which could not be released to execute the project in time. He said efforts were made to get it released but the relevant department was told to move the file through the MCI.  The MCI has apparently refused, saying it was not in a position to release the amount due to paucity of funds, he added. He said at present only 40 per cent lights were functional while 60 per cent need to be repaired or replaced.

 

Though, the proposed amount was not enough to completely illuminate the capital, however it would help to rehabilitate over 50 per cent of the dysfunctional lights, he added.     

An official from Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) Lights and Maintenance departments, requesting anonymity, admitted that maintenance of lights was the priority of his department and fixation of faulty lights was being delayed due to shortage of funds.