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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014

Unlit roads, streets a nightmare

Hina Bhardwaj, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, September 27, 2013
First Published: 19:28 IST(27/9/2013) | Last Updated: 19:31 IST(27/9/2013)

The dark nights get even darker at a few spots in the city as the streets lack proper illumination. A walk on such dark roads is nothing less than a nightmare. Lack of maintenance and improper installation of streetlights had been the obvious reason for accidents, snatching and many other security issues related to commuters.

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There are many areas, which are either not well-lit or not illuminated at all. To begin with, the main road of Ranjit Avenue has streetlights, which are non-functional except a few. Being a busy road, one has to rely upon headlights of vehicles to see properly. Moreover, the lack of a divider on the road aggravates the situation.

With a chain of branded hotels that shine bright, an area on the opposite side explicitly narrates a horror scene of secluded place with no lights but dark lanes, making it difficult for guests or tourists to take a safe walk down the lane.

The HT team when spoke to a police official on a check post at Ranjit Avenue, he agreed that streetlights on the main road are not always functional. He added that employees are busy rectifying the snag.

Anurag Mahajan, a senior executive (SE), from streetlight department of the municipal corporation, said, "Not all areas come under our purview. Ranjit Avenue is under the Amritsar Improvement Trust. We are working on a project to install LED lights to cut down the bill and we will strongly work towards it."

Moving ahead from Hathi Gate to road turning to Islamabad Nagar, while crossing Gobindgarh Fort and Cantonment Area is also not well lit. The road till Lohri gate also lacks proper lighting. The circular crossing of Court Road has lamps installed on a big pillar but these do not work, defeating the purpose of installing such big lamps. One can also see streetlights installed on the elevated road, which are non-functional thus increasing the risk of accidents.

Nearly 15 streetlights from Harkrishan Public School till Hotel Golden Tulip are also non-functional.

Badly-lit roads and streets are an open invitation to thieves and wrongdoers and bane for the common man. This issue not only defies the working of the authorities but also raises a big question on the security of people who pay huge amount of taxes but get nothing in return.

People's view
Somebody snatched my chain once on a road, which had no streetlight. I could not even see his face because there were no lights.
Rama, a local

Already, it's not safe nowadays and due to the lack of streetlights, we even avoid going out in the night.
Sita Katyal, a local

There are many areas poorly lit areas, which I can't name. Many illegal activities like drinking and gambling go on in dark streets.
Rakesh Sharma of NGO Voice of Amritsar

Officialspeak
Though we keep on working on proper streetlighting regularly, we will also look into unlit places brought to my notice
Anurag Mahajan, SE, municipal corporation

Dark streets are always an invitation to crime. Though police are on duty all the time, non-functional streetlights do affect security scenario.
Vipan Kumar, head constable

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