When the lights go out in Noida
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When the lights go out in Noida

Incidents of robbery and chain snatching continue to increase, even as Noida Authority blames dark stretches on a lack of light-bulb supply.

When the lights go out in Noida

Noida seems to have turned into a den of antisocials. While residents fear to step out in the dark, miscreants enjoy a free run on its unlit streets. A few sectors are particularly vulnerable, owing to long, dark and unpatrolled stretches. Incidents of robbery and chain snatching are grabbing headlines way too often.       

Shiv Kumar, a resident of Sector 122, Noida, told City Spidey that the streetlights of Block D have been non-functional for a long time now. Though he has lodged a complaint with Noida Authority, not much has come of it. Officials say they are unable to repair the lights because of an acute shortage of spare parts. “Residents, especially women, in my sector avoid going out in the evening," says Kumar. "They are scared of stepping out in the dark.”   

Sectors 93, 102, 105, 107, and 108, which span the Noida and Greater Noida Expressway, are unsafe as well because of a lack of streetlights and an absence of police posts. Other sectors, such as 35, 41, 45, 62, 71, 76, 77, 120, 121 and 122, hardly have functional streetlights. These dark stretches have become the hunting grounds for miscreants. The most recent victim was Akhil Chadha, a resident of Grand Omaxe of Sector 93B, who was beaten up and shot near his society, and the gang took off with his car and valuables.

The police say they have written to Noida Authority about repairing the streetlights, but progress is slow.

Another resident of Sector 77, Shivam Kumar, told City Spidey that the streetlights of the main road through the sector were removed by the Noida Metro Rail Corporation, owing to construction work, but no alternative arrangements were made. The entire area is in complete darkness after sundown.     

Over the past six months, the number of dark stretches across the suburb has gone up. An officer of the electrical department of Noida Authority admitted on condition of anonymity that electric bulbs were in short supply. Thus, replacements were taking time, despite repeated complaints. He added, “This happened because the tender was awarded to a blacklisted company, and it got cancelled later. Though I received complaints, I could not help. I have not been able to replace a single bulb in the past six months.”

Harshvardhan Bhadauria, purchase officer of Noida Authority, told City Spidey that he has taken the matter to the higher authorities. The bid is open again, and it is expected that a fresh tender will be floated within a fortnight.