Dwarka: The safety of one of the most planned localities of Delhi, Dwarka has been affected due to dark stretches and dark spots across the sub-city. Residents of Dwarka feel unsafe on roads, parks and even around their residential pockets after the sun sets due to unavailability of proper lights and defunct electrical infrastructure. A number of electric poles can be seen mostly in the back lanes of the societies, in far flung sectors such as 16,17,18,19,20 etc. Also, there are long stretches inside the sectors where the lights are either dim or not functioning.
A resident of Dwarka Sector 6 Suman Malik says, “In several sectors, there's complete darkness after the sun sets. On constant complains and follow ups, the authorities do arrangements but those arrangements don’t sustain because of poor monitoring and maintenance work.”
Malik, a resident of Sector 6, Youngster Apartments says, “Internal roads are not properly lit. The road which leads towards Sector 5 and 4 also has dark spots and stretches. Authorities need to look into the matter.”
When the sub-city was planned, lights were given to the central verge according to the planning. There was no provision of lights in the service lanes. The service lanes had to be illuminated through the lights from the electric poles on central verge of the main roads. But with time, the plantation along the service lanes has grown up and now almost all the service lanes are in dark. Hooligans and anti social elements use the service lanes for consumption of liquor and other such activities. Some incidents of purse, chain and wallet snatching after dark have also been reported.
One of the factors that has lead to the dark spots and stretches in Dwarka are overgrown trees on the roads. Such spots can be easily seen on the Road No 202 and 205. On such dark stretches, incidents of physical assault of women have also been reported. One such incident happened in Sector 4 in 2020 near Modern Convent School. Anjana Sinha, President of RWA, Dwarkadheesh Apartments, Sector 12 says, “Such incidents happen often but they are not always reported. The only solution is that there should be proper lighting in all the stretches. The recent incident of Kanjhawla should open the eyes of civic bodies and police to ensure that there are no dark spots and stretches in the city.”
Residents say that the major factor for the dark spots and stretches are involvement of multiple agencies. They say that there is lack of coordination among the civic bodies. In Dwarka, there are three agencies involved to look after the electrical issues which are DDA, MCD and BSES. Most of the time, maintenance gets affected because of confusion in jurisdiction for the particular pole or area.
A resident of Sector 14, Sunil Mishra Singh says, “Blame game between BSES and DDA is very prominent. No one is ready to take the responsibility. In most part of Dwarka, electric infrastructure has become inadequate due to ill maintenance. Wherever the poles are missing in service lane and near metro line, they should be installed. Flood light should be installed in all major crossings and near metro line so that large areas can be covered. Also DDA should take up all pruning activities at war front as most of the overgrown trees covered the street lights. We are not demanding extraordinary things, but we request them for basic maintenance only. Since Dwarka is a planned city, taking up these maintenance issues should not be a problem for the agencies.”