Non-functional streetlights in Defence Colony have sparked concern among residents who fear that the lanes have now become vulnerable to crimes. Residents claim that in the absence of adequate lighting, perpetrators find it easy to escape after committing crimes. Following the complaints, a survey of the area was conducted by the police with the help of locals and six vulnerable stretches were indentified. The South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) will now light up these spots.
Inadequate police patrols and poor streetlights make deserted stretches fertile grounds for criminal activities, residents said. A senior police official said they were aware of the situation and it will be resolved soon. He said there have been reports of chain snatching and anti-social elements frequenting these areas.
According to the police, Type-II, Sector 2 in Sadiq Nagar is notorious for eve-teasing. In Type-II Sector 2 near Aurvigyaan Nagar behind Municipal School in Sadiq Nagar, many motorcycle theft cases are reported while the area near the gurdwara roundabout in Defence Colony, Andrews Ganj Extension, and the area behind A block Defence Colony main market in A block are notorious for chain snatching.
“There will be a high mast light installed in each of these places,” said councillor Abhishek Dutt, who has sanctioned funds for the project. A senior police officer said that some of these areas are highly vulnerable such as Sector 2, Sadiq Nagar and the area behind Municipal School in Sadiq Nagar. The project of installing lights will cost around Rs 20 lakh.
Hraish Bisht a resident of Defence Colony, A block, said, “We had been complaining about the dark stretch as several people would come and consume alcohol here. After buying booze, people preferred this location to drink as there are some vendors who sell snacks and pakoras.” He said that there have also been cases of chain snatching and harassment of women.
A resident of Sector II in Sadiq Nagar, Amba Kumari said, “This part becomes vulnerable after 8pm. When I return late from work I find it dangerous to walk through this area. Often, I have to ask a male member of my family to accompany or receive me,” she added.
Apart from such cases, there have been reports of petty thefts like stealing of fuel from motorbikes. Acknowledging the situation, the senior police officer said that because of staff shortage, police personnel cannot be present in every area at night. “They keep patrolling the area. The best way, therefore, to prevent crime is to light up those problematic points. We had conducted a survey and the SDMC will make adequate arrangements for the same,” he said.