Even as the crime rate in the city continues to spike, poor maintenance of security gates installed in various phases across the city have rendered them useless. Additionally, these gates have no guards to man them, invariably compromising the security of residents.
The gates, which were installed to keep growing incidents of house and vehicle thefts in check, have not been maintained since the past two years. Former councillor Kuljit Singh Bedi said that damaged security gates can even cause accidents. Moreover, the gates were useless without having guards to keep a watch and also maintain them, he said.
“If the SAS Nagar Municipal Corporation (MC) is unable to deploy guards at these gates are dangerous and must be removed from entry and exit points of residential areas. Even GMADA had opened new entry points at the Phases 7, 5 and 3B2. If the MC is so concerned about the security of the residents, they should also make security provisions at these new points,” said Bedi.
In August 2009, a private company had installed 39 security gates in all 11 phases under the MC limits to keep a round-the-clock vigil and check all entry and exit points. Over time, the company increased the number of the gates in the city to over 60.
However, the MC’s move of deploying security guards had drawn flak due to regular arguments between security guards and the locals. In 2011, a guard was even murdered by some inebriated youths after he allegedly had refused to open the gate in Phase 3B2. In February 2013, the SAS Nagar MC terminated a contract with Selvel Media Services Limited, a company that was entrusted with the task of manning security gates, stating the company had not deployed guards at all gates.
MC, RWAs PASS THE BUCK
Even while security of city residents remains at stake, both the MC and resident welfare associations continue to pass the buck.
Even as municipal commissioner Oma Shankar Gupta cited lack of funds as the reason for not being able to provide security guards, he also blames RWAs for stonewalling their suggestions.
“We had held several meetings with Resident Welfare Associations over the issue and had suggested that RWAs can arrange for their own security guards, but they rejected even that idea,” said Gupta.
RWAs, meanwhile want the MC to solve the problem. Satvir Singh Dhanoa, President Citizen Welfare and development forum, SAS Nagar, said the gates were a risk to those passing them. “In the some residential areas, gates have been temporarily tied together with ropes, but the MC should figure out a permanent solution to this issue,” he said.