The number of poorly lit stretches in the Capital has doubled compared to last year. The police say such stretches are directly linked to criminal activities, especially crime against women. A survey was undertaken by Delhi police to identify poorly lit stretches or streetlights that are dysfunctional. As per the survey, there are 1,363 stretches in the city that are poorly lit, making it especially difficult for women to use them. Last year, there were only 650 such roads/stretches.
"We had directed heads of all police stations to identify poorly lit areas in their jurisdiction. Some stretches in border areas don't even have streetlights. Naturally, criminals find it easy to escape in the dark," said a senior police officer.
The survey has identified stretches that come under the jurisdiction of Public Works Department (PWD), Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and other agencies. However, things are yet to improve, as agencies are busy passing the buck.
"The electrical department of the corporation has replied to the letter. None of the stretches belong to the municipal corporations. They either belong to PWD or are looked after directly by TPDL, BSES and other discoms," said YS Mann, director, press and information, MCD.
PWD minister Raj Kumar Chauhan said, "99.5 per cent of our streetlights are functional as we do day monitoring and get daily reports from our engineers. However, we have recently taken over 645 km roads of MCD. These roads could be the problem area and might be poorly lit."
The civic agencies had spent crores of rupees on installing new streetlights for the 2010 Commonwealth Games and on maintenance of these streetlights. NDMC officials said streetlights on Todar Mal Lane aren’t functioning as a tree had fallen recently.