One of the most planned satellite cities of DDA, Dwarka, is struggling with dark service lanes along the Master Plan roads. All across the city, most of the service lanes eclipse into darkness after sunset. While taking a round of the sub-city, one can witness a missing point in planning and infrastructure as almost all the service lanes in front of the societies are without streetlights.
When asked about this lacunae, DDA engineers and the people involved in the development of Dwarka said that there was no plan for any streetlight for the service lanes as the lanes were supposed to get sufficiently illuminated from the electric poles on the central verge of the Master Plan Roads.
Said one of the officials, on the condition of anonymity, “You can see that there is no sign of any streetlight provision on service roads along the Master Plan roads. It was so because at the time of planning it was decided to provide such streetlights with such parameters on the Master Plan road so that the service lanes could get proper lights. You can find it by observing the pattern of street poles on Master Plan roads across the sub-city.”
But with the passage of time, Dwarka went for a massive plantation along the Master Plan roads and the service roads. The saplings, which were planted on footpaths, are now grown up causing hindrance in the path of the light coming from the street light on the Master Plan roads. Over the years, they have grown so thick and dense that the service lanes are completely in dark despite proper light on the main roads.
The fact of the matter is that neither pruning is sufficient to resolve the issue nor can the tree be cut. Consequently, the service lanes after sunset are providing favourable conditions for the shady characters and antisocials to use it for indulging in open drinking, drugs or any other illegal activates.
Posh sectors like 9,6,10,7,4,5,3,11,12,13,14,19 etc. are the worst sufferers from the dark service lanes after sunset. Rakesh Kumar from Vinayak Apartments living in Saksham Apartment Sector 10 says, “We have noticed that there is no provision for light on service lanes of our sector and we are totally dependent on main road lights. In Sector 10, the growth of the trees are very dense and so are the service lanes very dark. Also, a fault in the main road light makes walking on them all the more dangerous. On the other hand, it invites criminal activities.”
He concluded by advising authorities to take note of the situation and provide LED lights on service lanes as soon as possible.
At some places in small stretches of Sector 6, 9, 22, 23 etc. some of the new street light poles have been erected along the footpath or the boundary walls of the societies.
According to the residents of the particular areas such poles have been managed by their own efforts with the help the DDA or the area representatives. President of Federation of RWAs, Sector 9 and Ganpati Apartments, Advocate KS Bhati, says, “Residents of Sector 10 brought this subject to the notice of the area representatives and the authorities. Now you can see that there are street poles with LED light along footpaths in the service lanes. We took up the matter on an urgent basis because this service lane used to become a hub of illegal activities after sunset. Some incidents of chain and purse snatching also took place here.”
However, residents of Dwarka are not content with such piecemeal solutions. They are demanding proper infrastructure for the illumination of the service lanes. The vice-president of Dwarka Forum, an organisation of RWAs and social groups, Sunil Sareen, says, “We have raised this subject several times in our meetings with the civic agencies and police. At some places, they have provided lights but they are not in operational mode. I request the DDA and the concerned agencies to take this matter seriously and do the needful as soon as possible.”
CitySpidey spoke to one of the engineers of DDA electrical department on the matter, He said, on condition of anonymity, “The subject is related to planning. But when we get any request or complaint of dark stretch we provide lights there. I make an appeal to the residents to write to us about the dark stretches, we will definitely provide lights there.”