The overgrown trees on either side of the roads in Sector 62, Noida, have formed a canopy so thick that even sunlight doesn't filter through. Streetlights, of course, can't either. As a result, these streets stay dark and gloomy at all times. In the evenings, they look almost sinister, with residents avoiding the stretches for fear of crime and other antisocial activity.
"My wife works in IBM in the same sector, and her office is within walking distance from our flat in Telecom City," said a resident of this B Block, Sector 62, society. "But she takes an auto to come home in the evenings, as she doesn't feel safe walking down the dark, secluded stretch."
"The area has streetlights but only a few are functioning properly," said Omvir Singh, another resident of Telecom City. "But fixing the streetlights will not solve the problem. The lights, you see, are above the canopy and hardly any of it filters through."
KC Mishra, president of Telecom City's management committee, throws some light on why the problem exists in the first place. "Back in 2005, while the areas were being developed, Noida Authority planted hundreds of saplings along the B Block roads," explained Mishra. "If the Authority had trimmed the branches on a regular basis, we wouldn't have been facing this situation now. Even after lodging several complaints about the overgrown branches and defunct lights, there has been no action at all."
Failing to elicit a reaction from the Authority officials, Mishra escalated the issue to the local MLA, Vimla Batham.
Batham discussed the issue with the Authority officials and said she had been assured by both the horticulture and the electricity departments that they would carry out the required work.
"We will prune all the overgrown branches in two weeks," said Mahindra Prakash, deputy director of Noida Authority's horticulture department.
City Spidey discussed the pruning of trees with a few of the city's environment activists.
"They will need to take the forest department's permission before they can carry out the pruning," said Akash Vashisht, an activist based in Noida.
Vikrant Tongad, another green activist, said that even after obtaining the forest department's NOC to carry out the work, it would be necessary to monitor the pruning. "What usually happens is that the department obtains an NOC for pruning a tree and then chops the entire tree down," he said. "This happens all too frequently to be ignored as a possibility."