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Gurgaon women wary of using dimly-lit subways

Women commuters said drunkards and criminals prowl the city subways and never miss a chance to pass a lewd remark at them

gurgaon Updated: Dec 17, 2017 23:50 IST
Leena Dhankhar
There are three subways on the expressway, including the defunct Sirhaul toll plaza connecting Udyog Vihar to another side of the road towards Gurgaon.
There are three subways on the expressway, including the defunct Sirhaul toll plaza connecting Udyog Vihar to another side of the road towards Gurgaon.(Sanjeev Verma/HT PHOTO)

Women commuters returning late at night said they feel unsafe using the city’s subways, as they are dimly lit and criminals prowl such spaces after sundown. They said that the subways on the Gurgaon expressway are dark and suffer from lack of maintenance by the authorities.

There are three subways on the expressway, including the defunct Sirhaul toll plaza connecting Udyog Vihar to another side of the road towards Gurgaon. Commuters said that the two subways near Rajiv Chowk and Hero Honda Chowk also leave a lot to be desired in terms of safety.

Women commuters said that with the subways poorly lit and unsafe, they have no option but to cross the expressway and are forced to take a longer route either towards Delhi and take a U-turn below the flyover from Rajokri, Delhi to return to Gurgaon. The only other option is shared cabs, which, according to women commuters, aren’t a safe bet after sundown. They claimed there are frequent incidents of eve-teasing in shared cabs and most go unreported.

Women said that the subways are not managed and maintained by the authorities and they are left with no option but to cross the road to avoid the subway near the Sirhaul toll plaza, towards Udyog Vihar.

“The subways are dimly lit, poorly maintained and almost always unmanned. It not safe to use them after sundown. Drunk men often prowl the subways and never miss a chance to pass lewd comments at women,” Sunita Mishra, an employee of a firm in Udyog Vihar who commutes to work from DLF Phase 3, said.

“The subways are never cleaned. Over the last one year, I haven’t seen anyone cleaning the subway (near the Sirhaul toll). It is difficult to navigate the subway due to the unbearable stench from the garbage that the space is littered with. Men often relieve themselves inside subways and despite being aware that women use such spaces, they don’t mend their ways,” Usha Kumari, an employee at an export firm, said.

“I still remember how two men in a drunken state followed me and my colleague till Rajokri. I had to call my husband to pick us up, as they kept on passing lewd comments at us,” Geeta Kaushik, a daily commuter and a resident of Rajokri Airforce station, said.

Read I Gurgaon’s Rajiv Chowk underpasses to be built in three phases

Many women said they were at the receiving end of similar incidents while using subways on their way home from work during late evenings and added that many such incidents are not reported to the police.

A Gurgaon police official said the area comes within the jurisdiction of Kapashera, Delhi and a PCR van is deployed there at most times. However, he said that in light of safety concerns, they will arrange a PCR van from the Udyog Vihar police station to patrol such spaces at night.

“Our team is deployed on the stretch and even women personnel are posted. Regular patrolling is done as well. We will also deploy a team at subways to check hooligans and miscreants. Should a woman face harassment while walking on the subway, they should get in touch with us without delay. We’ll take prompt action,” Arjun Dev, station house officer, Udyog Vihar police station, said.

Ashok Kumar Sharma, project director, National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), said, “We will get the subways inspected on Monday and ensure they are cleaned and well maintained.”