Sarika Panda Bhatt, urban planner, World Resource Institute
The benefits of streetlights cannot be ignored. Properly lit up streets give a sense of security to people taking such stretches. Even after it is dark people don’t fear to take a road which is well lit up.
Both drivers and pedestrians feel safe on lit up roads.
Streetlighting in Gurgaon largely concentrates on providing lighting to carriageway largely used by motor vehicles that already have headlights.
The Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway is no exception with lighting heavily focussed on its main carriageway and not the service lanes.
There is very little or no provision of streetlights on footpath and cycle tracks which puts the safety and security of pedestrians and cyclists at stake. This problem gets bigger if the road users are women or children.
The design of streetlights is unplanned in most streets of Gurgaon. One of the important aspect of good lighting revolves around good luminaries that should have a proven and time-tested degree of protection of IP 66 (seal safe) for optical and IP 44 for Control Gear compartment but somehow the same is missing in most of the streetlights in the city.
Besides, proper lighting should have a minimum brightness of 40lux on carriageway and on service lane and footpath, cycle track with a uniformity ratio of 40%, using minimum wattage consumption and/or light poles/luminaries. But the concept of uniformity ratio is also missing in most of the Gurgaon streets making them unsafe for road users.
(As told to Deevakar Anand)