“I was coming from Mahipalpur to Sector 13, Dwarka. I took the link road and entered the sub-city through Sector 21. Following the signboards, I reached the Sector 9 Metro station. But beyond that I was clueless. I had to ask the locals, and they told me to follow Road No 202 to reach Sector 13. I had to ask for directions more than five times and spent an extra 20 minutes to reach my destination,” said Arundhati Ghosh, a resident of Vasant Kunj, about her experience of reaching IP University with her daughter.
Ghosh, however, is not the only one who had such an experience. Hundreds of people face such problems every day due to improper guide maps, direction boards and head boards in Dwarka.
According to DDA, such boards were installed at all the major points of Dwarka, including roads, sectors, markets, lanes and master plan roads.
MP Singh, a resident of Shubham Apartments in Sector 12, said, “Delhi Development Authority provided guide maps at every nook and corner of Dwarka. Earlier, they were beautiful and informative, but now they are just tin sheets you see in various points in the sub-city. Their colours have almost vanished and the plastic charts on these sheets are completely damaged. You can see such boards in Sector 9 and 10. One such board is near the red light of Sector 10/11, in front of the DDA Sports Complex. Not only this, many such boards are completely hidden by overgrown trees.”
Similarly, on Master Plan roads at many places, the boards are missing, leaving commuters directionless and confused. At many places along the Master Plan roads, head boards are missing on foundation pillars. Residents say that the pillars were constructed for head boards more than five years back. They added that except some roads, such as the Link Road and those in sectors 21, 22, 23, 9 and 7, boards are missing everywhere. “In sectors 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 19 and 20, there are no boards to guide commuters. On Road No 201, 202, 205, 221, 219, 216, 215 and 209, head boards and direction boards are missing,” said PC Xavier, a resident of Shahyadri Apartments, Sector 12.
Xavier added, “Foundation pillars for the head boards were made at all four directions of the crossings across Dwarka more than eight years back, but the head boards are still not there. For instance, as soon as one gets down from the flyover from the Delhi Cantonment side, one comes across intersections of sectors 1-7/2-6; further straight ahead is 6-2/5-3 and still further, towards Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology(NSIT) and National Law University (NLU), is 3-4/12-13. It’s very difficult for visitors to get to their destination in the dark. NLU has put up small signboards here and there, but what one needs are the large head boards that can be seen from a distance of 200-300 m or so.”
The issue of the missing direction boards, head boards, and damaged or unreadable information boards have been raised time and again at DDA meetings and police-public meetings over security — but to no effect. According to Xavier, “We have mentioned the subject in the police-public meetings. The incident of rape of a Danish tourist at Connaught Place was the result of confusion in direction, and it is a deeply tragic issue. In the absence of direction boards and head boards, we are making ourselves more vulnerable to such incidents. Innumerable cases of snatching and car-jacking have already happened in Dwarka over the years for this very reason.”
When City Spidey spoke to DP Singh, chief engineer, DDA, he said, “I will look into the issue and do the needful.”
The foundations for head boards in Sector 12, Dwarka. But where are the head boards?