Essentially a planned sub city, Dwarka falls short of civic expectations when it comes to safety and security. This can clearly be attributed to the dark stretches and dark spots.
Lack of proper street lights, shadows created by trees and defunct electrical infrastructure have translated to a feeling of insecurity for people on all public spaces. The electric poles ironically abound in the back lanes of residential societies and far flung sectors like 16, 17,18,19,20 etc. In some of the posh sectors like Sector 7, Sector 6 and Sector 2, streets lights are either missing or dim.
A resident of Shruti Apartments, Sector 7 who is also the coordinator of the Residents Welfare Association said, “There are dark spots in the by lanes of Sargodha Apartments. Also it is fairly dark near Meghdoot Apartments and Shiv Bhole Apartments. These spots are hubs for illegal activities.”
Anurag, a resident of the sub city who has been campaigning with the civic authorities on the subject of improper illumination, said, “I have seen that the stretch at Sector 10 that connects the Dwarka Court to the Sector 12 Metro Station via Vandana International School is always dark. Also the areas and roads near metro stations of Sectors 21, 8, 9 and 10 etc are facing this issue.”
Suman Malik, a resident of Sector 6, Youngster Apartments had a similar observation. In her words, “The roads inside sectors are not properly lit. The lane behind Durga Pooja Apartments, the whole of Sector 13, by lanes of Sector 12 and the roads of Sector 3 and 4 are always plunged in darkness."
When the sub city was planned, lights were allotted for the Central Verge. There was no provision of lights in the service lanes as these lanes had to be illuminated through the lights on Verge. However, since the green cover along the service lanes has been shooting up steadily in the course of these years, the original plan has gone haywire.
A service lane at Sector 10 without any street lights
Worse, hooligans and anti social elements use the service lanes for consumption of liquor or other wrong activities. Some incidents of snatching purse, chain and watches from office goers have also been reported along this stretch.
Some of the societies and their representatives have installed a few LED bulbs in the service lanes. President of Federation of RWAs of Sector 9 and President of Ganpati Apartments, KS Bhati said, “The service lanes in the sub city are very unsafe. We have somehow managed to erect some poles in our service lanes but the authorities should seriously take charge.”
Incidentally, the dark spots and stretches are also because of the shadows created by overgrown trees lining road sides. These shadows make driving a risky affair. Road No 202 and 205 are particularly affected by shadows cast by huge trees. There have been instances when women have been assaulted on these roads.
So who is responsible for these dark stretches? Residents of Dwarka allege that this has happened because there are multiple agencies which lack coordination.
In Dwarka three agencies are responsible for electrification. These include DDA, MCD and BSES. Maintenance suffers because of confusion among these agencies in terms of exact jurisdictions.
A social activist who has been working on civic issues of the sub city, Madhuri Varshney said, “There is a continuous blame game between BSES and DDA. In most parts of Dwarka, the infrastructure for electrification of streets is not functioning due to ill maintenance. Flood lights should be installed in all major crossings and near the metro lines. This will illuminate large areas. Also DDA should take up all pruning activities on a war footing. Since Dwarka is a planned city, taking up these maintenance issues should not be a problem for the agencies.”