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The History of Electrical Department dates back to 1910. Until then the lighting of the City was done by Oil lights. The street lamps were first introduced in 1785. Till 1857 there were only 200 oil light lamps. By the year 1910, there were 6500 oil lights. Electric street lighting was introduced for the first time, during 1910. The improvement of lighting on this account was so marked that the number of electric lights gradually increased till the year 1924-25, where all the lights were completely replaced by electric lights.

Street Lights

The Corporation of Chennai is now maintaining 2,13,051 street lights as mentioned below:

40 watt Tube lamp 49420
70 watt Sodium Vapour lamps 84664
150 watt Sodium Vapour lamps 17726
250 watt Sodium Vapour lamps 42250
400 watt Sodium Vapour lamps 786
 70 watt Metal Halide Lamps 0
150 watt Metal Halide lamps 544
250 watt Metal Halide lamps 1277
400 watt Metal Halide Lamps 3262
Other type of lamps 14079
Total no. of Lights 2,14,008

264 nos of High Mast lights and 133 nos. of 8meter and 12meter Lamp Post with Cluster lights are installed in places of Public gathering and important junctions have been installed and maintained by Corporation of Chennai .

Consumption and Cost

  • The Energy consumption towards burning of street lights is 19 MW.
  • The total consumption charges works out to Rs.200 lakhs per month.

The Electrical Department is mainly responsible for installation and maintenance of street lights and electrical maintenance of Corporation buildings, Parks, Playgrounds and burial grounds. The maintenance of street lights can be broadly classified in two categories (viz) underground cables & Light accessories. 22 Hydraulic vehicles are at disposal of Department for attending maintenance work to street lights.

Special Nature of Works

Wireless sets have been provided in all Zonal Offices and in the vehicles of Zonal Officers and other higher officers for easy communication in performing daily routine works of Corporation of Chennai. This is also useful during natural calamities, fire accidents and elections.
In case of fire accidents occurring during night, temporary lights arrangements at the accident site and other emergency works are carried out by the night maintenance squad. 18 mobile high mast vehicles are being kept ready for these emergency works.
The Corporation of Chennai is maintaining electric furnace units at the following burial grounds.

  • Villivakkam
  • Nungambakkam
  • GKM colony
  • Arumbakkam

Corporation of Chennai is at present maintaining gassifier furnace units at Moolakothalam, Kannammapet, Besant Nagar Mylapore, Kasimedu, Vyasarpadi, Otteri, Thangal, Velangadu, Krishnampet, Saidapet & Besant Nagar burial grounds.

Officials in Electrical Department

Sl. No. Designation Mobile no.
1 SuperintendingEngineer/Electrical 9445190739
2 DivisionalElectrical Engineer/Head Quarters 9445190754
3 DivisionalElectrical Engineer /North (Zone 1 to 5) 9445190753
4 DivisionalElectrical Engineer /Centre (Zone 6 to 10) 9445190751
5 DivisionalElectrical Engineer /South(Zone 11 to 15) 9445190752

For Complaints

Incase of non burning of street lights in a particular zone, the concerned Zone Assistant Divisional Engineer (Electrical) may be contacted at the following mobile no. for redressal

Sl. No. Zone No. Zone  ADE Mobile No.
1 01 9445190041
2 02 9445190042
3 03 9445190043
4 04 9445190044
5 05 9445190045
6 06 9445190046
7 07 9445190047
8 08 9445190048
9 09 9445190049
10 10 9445190050
11 11 9445190051
12 12 9445190052
13 13 9445190053
14 14 9445190054
15 15 9445190055
16 ADE/Purchase 9445190154
17 ADE/Investigating/Contract 9445190149
18 ADE/Technical 9445191488

Insufficient intensity of light

In order to improve the intensity of light, various steps are being taken by Chennai Corporation.

1. The short posts and uneven span of street lamp posts are being replaced by new street light

2. The old deteriorated cables which are causing voltage problem are replaced by new cable.

3. The main problem of insufficient intensity of lights is due to branches of trees which are affecting the illumination on the roads.  In such cases, pruning of trees are done, while attending the non-burning of lights by using cutters.

4. The aged fitting which affects the illumination are replaced with new fitting

  • 264 Numbers of High Masts and 133 Numbers. of 8meter and 12meter Lamp Post with Cluster lights are installed and maintained in the important road junction.
  • Total No of  Street Lights                           --------            2,13,051
  • 13787 Number of lights installed and maintained in the park and play fields
  • Area Covered                                              --------             434 Sq.Kms
  • Under Ground Cables were laid and being maintained in all the roads for street lights as a safety measure and it will minimize the faults when compared to over head lines
  • Laying of underground cable will avoid any untoward accident during monsoon period
  • 22 Numbers of Hydraulic operated Vehicles and 63 Nos of Wooden /Aluminium Ladders are being used for maintenance of street lights.


1 Superintending Engineer/Electrical Superintending Engineer/Electrical is the head of the department and is responsible for all the activities of the department.
2 Divisional Electrical Engineer Responsible for monitoring capital and Maintenance works and for support services for Zonal ADE’s coming under his control.
3 Assistant Divisional Engineer Responsible for initiating and executing capital and maintenance works, related to street lights and Electrification of Corporation building, Parks, Playgrounds and burial ground.
4 Assistant Enginner / Juniour Engineer / Lighting Inspectors Responsible for maintenance of  street lights and capital works, under their jurisdiction
5 Electrician Responsible for attending non-burning in street lights, maintenance of pillar boxes and fuse boxes.
6 Jointer Responsible for identification and rectification of cable fault in the street lights.
7 Permanent Labour Attending non-burning of street lights and cable fault.