A Different ‘Always On’

One of the ‘rituals’ followed by morning walkers in Karachi is that as the sun rises and the light of the day spreads, fellow citizens show a sense of ownership and concern for power conservation by switching off the manual street lights. It is those cases where the street lights are in a standalone arrangement in the form of a switch attached to the pole. The light is not connected to a single ‘street light power line’ controlled from a central location or an automated photo-switch.

More recently, lots of new street lights have been installed by the CDGK in various localities and while the power is available, the lights do a great job in making the areas usable (and safe!) in the night. But as the manual switches break down due to exposure to direct sun light and other factors, there is an increasing trend to ‘make the switch direct’ by pushing in a piece of wire inside the right places of the broken switches which causes the light to remain always on.

My morning walk path contains five to six electricity poles that need manual switch offs. Out of these, three have been ‘fixed’ in this ‘direct’ way and the lights now remain always on even during the day. While KESC is adding up more units to enhance power production for the city, small leakages like this and this will keep on playing an negative role.

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