According to a council resolution passed a few days ago, the contracts for the operation and maintenance of streetlights in Tiruvottiyur, Manali, Madhavaram, Tondiarpet, Thiru Vi Ka Nagar, Ambattur, Valasaravakkam, Alandur, Perungudi and Sholinganallur zones were given to four contractors. As per the agreement, the contractors should operate and maintain streetlights for one year up to February 2022.
But the civic body identified shortcomings in the service as the contractors are not able to provide the requisite number of electricians with ITI qualification, instead, they employed unskilled workers with experience in the field. Also, some contractors could not provide the requisite number of ladders or hydraulic vehicles and they failed to supply the required material. “Some of the contractors are not able to provide the support staff such as manager, lighting engineer, data entry operator, supervisor and others,” the resolution said.
The civic body explained that the penalty for not performing the operation and maintenance at requisite standards is meagre. Even after repeated instructions and notices, there is no improvement in their performances. The contracts will be terminated as per the tender rules from September 18.
Meanwhile, the civic body, apart from deciding to float fresh e-tenders for the operation and maintenance, has increased the penalty for nonperformance and the civic body will deduct the penalty amount from the monthly bills to be paid to the contractors.
Also, the total cost of the operation and maintenance has been reworked as the civic body could save Rs 7 crore by new norms. Earlier, the civic body had fixed Rs 27.27 crore but the new contractors will be paid only Rs 20.57 crore.