Gurgaon may have the ‘millennium city’ tag but it lacks efficient local transport, especially after sunset, leaving commuters with no choice but to board the cumbersome auto rickshaws.
The last-mile connectivity is especially a big problem with women being forced to rely on their relatives or friends to reach home or to pick them up from the metro, rapid metro and bus stations.
Many women who face unpleasant experiences in the city do not approach the police with their grievances as they say it is too mentally tiring by the time it is resolved. Some even say the police lack confidence.
The thin police presence was attributed by many residents, especially women, to the lax law and order situation of the city.
Tanu Gulia, a resident of Sector 56 said: “Last week I had got down at Sikanderpur metro station. I boarded an auto to my house. The driver tried to take a short cut and when I refused, he stopped in middle of the road and asked me to get down. He abused me and I was left in an isolated place. That night was scary as no other transport was available…what if the auto driver had come back with his friends?”
Dark stretches fill the roads towards Sectors 56 and 57 and are scary at nights with almost no street lights or alternative transport. The auto drivers demand unreasonable fares and the residents are left with no option but to pay double or risk their lives.
Indu Raina, a BPO agent and a resident of Sector 57 said: “The police presence is not enough so miscreants take advantage of that. It is really difficult to approach the police personnel as they seem threatening and ready to judge me.”
There are 23 police stations, 3,600 cops - including 400 women police personnel, 55 PCR vans and 45 motorcycle-riding cops. But the city witnesses a host of criminal activities on a frequent basis.
Most of the auto drivers stay in Old Gurgaon and prefer passengers going towards their own preferred route. New Gurgaon has little connectivity after 10pm.
And the problem is not just limited to buses. The auto-rickshaws fare no better despite their numbers having gone up in the city. Most of the drivers refuse passengers as they prefer going in one direction over the other.
According to district administration’s database, there are about 35,000 women working in the BPO sector in Gurgaon and of them, 15,000 work in night shifts.
Police claim they are doing ther best to keep up with security needs. Gurgaon police had launched “AutoVerify” application on September 27 for the safety of women and senior citizens to identify if an auto rickshaw is registered and a verified one.
A data bank of 18,000 autos is registered in the repository and can be shared easily with family memebers, said Alok Mittal, Gurgaon’s commissioner of police.