Street Lights

WHY DON’T ALL THE STREELIGHTS WORK?

It is common knowledge that the infrastructure of the public street lighting in Camposol is a major problem, but the extent of the problem became apparent only after the current Council took control of the Mazarrón municipality in June 2019 and began an investigation into finding a legal and permanent solution to address the physical problem of missing or failed and obsolete components as well as complying with the legal, contractual and licencing situations to prevent future complications.

Camposol has suffered from street lighting problems from its very conception, and these have intensified as each sector was constructed. It was also exacerbated by the developer Grupo MASA’s delinquency in not paying the main electrical contractor responsible for installing the lighting infrastructure. This resulted in the contractor eventually abandoning the site leaving many circuits without cable or other equipment and components.

Further complications arose in mid/late 2013 when Grupo MASA stopped paying Iberdrola for the electricity supply. As a result Iberdrola started disconnecting lighting control boxes, and some residents resorted to self-help.

In late 2014 the then Council took over circuit contracts and commissioned an electrical contractor to carry out the essential repair, bringing the circuits up to current specifications and replacing equipment that had been tampered-with or stolen.

However, following the 2015 election, the incoming Council cancelled the contract with the electrical contractor and ceased processing documentation with the Regional Authority and with Iberdrola. This resulted in the urbanisation being left with a hotch-potch of additional problems – some circuits were not up to current specifications, or there was no documentation to facilitate legal use. Some were awaiting Iberdrola ratification, although some had been fully processed and were in use, and some are still under ‘Builder’s supply’ which should have been closed after two years of completions of works. Furthermore, Iberdrola now have remote metering which identify any fraudulent use of electricity and the electricity supply is disconnected

The problems caused by 4 further years of neglect and irreversible deterioration through lack of maintenance became the concern of the current Council who is taking steps to correct and legalise the public lighting infrastructure as far as budget constraints and COVID related expenditures will allow. In the meantime however, repairs to circuits not legally registered cannot be carried out.

To progress any work a project would have to be drawn up by an engineer and architect, then sent to the Trade and Industry Department of the Regional Government for approval and then to Iberdrola to be licenced, after which work can begin – a process which will take several months.

Currently technicians are surveying the principal route through C and D Sectors to draw up a project which will start the process which ultimately will attain a legally usable street lighting infrastructure. Failure to achieve this will result in any unaccountable use of electricity to be disconnected and isolated by Iberdrola.