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The streets in Tura, the second largest town in Meghalaya, are becoming known for being pitch black after sunset except for the lights that emanate from the shops and street food vendors.
Tura is also the constituency of Chief Minister Conrad Sangma (South Tura) and senior NPP leader and former MP (Rajya Sabha) Thomas Sangma (North Tura).
Most of the streetlights are defunct or vandalised, including the solar street lamps set up by the previous Congress-led government.
The dark streets have also become the perfect place for drug addicts and alcoholics who use the cover of darkness to their advantage.
Non-functional street lights was taken up with the district administration several times. However, with rising bills that are yet to be paid, the situation is such that street lighting in Tura faces the danger of being completely taken out.
But in a positive development, the administration recently informed that it is already pushing forward to ensure that streets in Tura are lit up once again.
“Renovation of solar lighting is being undertaken by the Urban Affairs department, which is a welcome sign. On the matter of the other street lights, there is an enormous amount of liability of pending power bills. This is being taken up at the Shillong level, and we have requested them not to disconnect,” Deputy Commissioner Ram Singh said.
Earlier, they had set 275 solar street lights and panels to light up the streets of Tura. Initially, a few had failed to start, but almost all of them are non-functional now.
“We hope the street light situation improves for Tura as this shows the region in very poor light. Street lighting is important not only from a tourism standpoint but also for the safety and security of residents. The government needs to put more stress on getting this back to normal as soon as possible for the sake of all,” said a Tura resident, AM Marak.
(Edited by Andre Kongri)