Crores of rupees have been spent on upgrading sodium streetlights to LED but the city still lacks proper illumination on many stretches. Even posh colonies like Mahanagar, Gomtinagar, Indiranagar and Aliganj have several dark patches in market and residential areas posing risk to locals and commuters.
Streetlights on stretches in New Hyderabad, Vikasnagar, Nishatganj, Kalyanpur and Old City have also been lying defunct for months.
The condition of the roads is already bad in the city. Potholes make driving a risky job, particularly during the monsoon season when streets are water-logged following rains. Inadequate street-lighting have made things worse. As a result, accidents have become a common feature. People are also apprehensive about their security. The money spent on street lights is public money. LMC must ensure that public money does not go waste. Also, at a time when LMC is expanding it s tax base, it should also focus on improving services.
Rohan Singh, a resident of Kalyanpur, met with an accident last month. “I was returning home late and was unable to see a puddle because of defunct streetlights, my bike skidded and I was injured.” Suneeta Gupta, a Mahanagar resident, said, “I avoid dark areas when I go on walks as many women in my neighbourhood have been targeted by chain snatchers.”
Even parents are reluctant to let their kids play outside after sunset. Prachi Gidwani of Rai Bihari Road, New Hyderabad, said, “I don’t allow my son to play outside after sunset as it gets dark and makes it dangerous.”
Divya Saxena, a resident of Sector 4, Vikasnagar, who uses public transport said that she feels very unsafe while travelling through dark patches.
Sanjay Agarwal, a resident of Nishatganj, said, “Senior citizens and women do not move out at night in our area because of safety concerns.”
The problems compound when civic problems combine. Sumit Dixit, a resident of Mahanagar, said, “It is very risky to drive in dark as many times stray animals suddenly appear from nowhere leading to accidents.”
LMC claims that the private firm upgrading streetlights has been working for over a year now and has completed almost 90% of the work. As per the contract, the company is also responsible for repair and maintenance of streetlights for seven years. When contacted, LMC’s official in charge said that the firm will repair the defunct lights soon.
Date: July 5, 2018