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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Lack of streetlights a cause of concern for residents, police, traffic experts

gurugram Updated: Aug 20, 2019 20:46 IST

Even though the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) has installed 64,000 LED streetlights across the city over the past year, there are many spots which remain unlit and continue to be a cause of concern for residents, and law-enforcement agencies as they remain prone to accidents, snatching and theft.

Last June, the Gurugram police had analysed data on street crimes in the city and found that most cases of carjacking, snatching, and robbery took place between 6pm and 11pm. They had highlighted lack of streetlights as one of the major reasons for such incidents.

“Our study found that lack of streetlights was a significant reason behind crime as it only provides a cover for criminals, but even victims are taken by surprise as they cannot spot any danger. We have increased patrolling and established checkpoints near such spots,” ACP crime Shamsher Singh said.

Though sectors 1-58 now have streetlights, illumination is still a major problem in the newer sectors. MCG officials estimate nearly 90,000 LED lights are still needed across the city to provide adequate illumination at night. MCG has asked EESL for providing 24,000 more LED streetlights in the near future.

Sector 72 resident Alka Sinha said the approach road to her residence from Vatika Chowk does not have any streetlights, which restricts residents’ movement after sundown. “I avoid taking cabs at night unless there is another person accompanying me; buses are not even an oprion. I do not feel safe in my own neighbourhood,” she said.

Sushant Lok 1 resident Siddhant Chawla said the problems associated with lack of streetlights are not only restricted to residential areas, but remain a cause of concern in popular public spaces such as Sector 29 as well.

“During weekends, it is difficult to get an autorickshaw in Sector 29 due to the sheer demand; sometimes one has to walk 300-400 metres in the dark to find one. I remember almost getting mugged on one occasion by two men on a bike. Fortunately, a PCR vehicle was passing by and the two men fled,” Chawla said.

The absence of streetlights has also led to accidents in the past. Last year, Haryana Vision Zero (HVZ) had identified 11 dark spots in the city where accidents took place regularly due to lack of streetlights.

“Lighting is mostly on carriageways and is missing on footpaths and pedestrian crossing areas due to which it is difficult to spot pedestrians and cyclists at night. Most accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists take place at night when the speeds are high and visibility is low. While lack of pedestrian amenities is the main reason, improper lighting combined with high speed is also a major factor,” HVZ programme coordinator Sarika Panda Bhatt said.

First Published: Aug 20, 2019 20:46 IST