Due to lack of proper lighting and inadequate security measures, most women in south Delhi feel unsafe about using subways and even some streets.
A women safety audit by NGO Jagori, commissioned by Delhi government's women and child development department, revealed that women refrain from using certain subways in the city due to safety issues.
The assessment points out that women avoid using certain markets as soon as it starts getting dark because vacant spaces are used for gambling and drinking by men.
Poorly-lit stretches have also changed the way women shop. Two markets in both the areas that were covered in the audit were found to be "male-dominated after dark". Most women now prefer shopping during the day due to this."The NGO spoke to 150-odd women who use the Hauz Khas and Mehrauli markets frequently and most said they avoid going to the market in late evenings. For instance, a stretch in Hauz Khas leading from the Metro station gate No. 3 to Hauz Khas police station is poorly lit. Women refrain from using the Hauz Khas subway as there are anti-social elements present there," said a senior Delhi government official.
During the audit — carried out for over two weeks — the NGO members carried out a 'safety walk' to understand the problem of the area.
"The NGO members found that the space in Mehrauli market lane has reduced and as this is the festive season, it is crowded as well. The nearby bus terminal also lacks proper lighting,' the official added.
The audit also pointed out that these areas don't have any facility for the disabled.
"The pavements in Hauz Khas are not disabled-friendly at all. Some of them are broken, while the height of others is not adequate for someone to use it comfortably. At the same time, the accessibility to the Hauz Khas Metro station Gate No 3 is not easy with the street near it used by cars and autos for parking," the official added.
There are no pavements in Mehrauli. The roads are narrower because of encroachments of some shopkeepers and cars.