Missing lights leave Chandigarh parks fraught with danger
Bereft of street lights, several parks and green-belts in Chandigarh remain in the dark, leaving residents worried for their safety at night, as the municipal corporation has not installed light bulbs over the past few years.
Highlighting the issue, Pankaj Gupta, president of the Sector 38 west resident welfare association (RWA), said, “Most parks in the sector have no light. Bulbs were installed by the MC a year ago, but the electric poles are now rusting . A private contractor was hired to fix light bulbs but due to non-payment of dues, the work was abandoned midway.”
Gupta said that owing to the darkness, most neighbourhoods were not suitable for evening walks as residents felt unsafe. “Whatever the dispute between MC and the private contractor, it must be resolved soon so residents don’t suffer,” he said.
Residents of Sector 51 are suffering the same issue in their parks. Manjit Kaur, president of Sector 51 RWA, said, “Parks maintained by RWAs won the neighbourhood park contest held by MC on Rose Day last month. It is only those parks maintained by MC that have this issue. The poles are in a state of neglect for over four years, as they have started to rust. By the time bulbs are installed here, money will have to be needed to repaint the poles.”
Residents of Sector 40 complain that no action has been taken despite numerous complaints. SK Khosla, general secretary of welfare association of MIG houses in Sector 40-C, said, “MC officials don’t take our complaints seriously. Our parks have become a hub of nefarious activities. Authorities must make lights functional again for safety of senior citizens living near these parks.”
Local BJP head and councillor of Sector 38 West, Arun Sood, said the project to fix the dark areas of the city was started in 2016, but due to issues over tendering, the project was delayed. “The matter has been discussed at length in all House meetings and the private contractor’s role in installing bulbs must be examined further to see if there have been any shortcomings from their end,” Sood said.
Chandigarh mayor Raj Bala Malik said, “I have urged MC officials to begin installing bulbs. It will be carried out in phases and the city will be covered within a couple of weeks. Residents can approach the MC with their complaints and we will look into them.”