THE VIOLENCE following the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim in Panchkula is a precedent that the residents have silently vowed never to forget. As a result, the residential welfare societies have taken the task of public security in their own hands. No wonder the number of security gates at the entrance to different sectors has seen a rise since that fateful day of August 25 last year.
Though the iron gates were already in place before the violence spread across the city, the trend has now picked up to thwart any future attempts at large-scale mob movement inside the residential colonies and also enhance security to prevent other crimes. The Panchkula Municipal Corporation is also looking into the requirement of installing the gates and has formed a committee to carry out a basic survey for its implementation.
“The August violence is definitely an immediate factor for the security concern. But the question now remains about the maintenance of these entry gates. There should be uniform guidelines for the management of these entry gates across the city like which gates will remain and which not during the odd hours,” said S K Nayar, president of the Citizen Welfare Association, Panchkula.
There is already a policy in place on the entry gates in the state since 2010. But, very few seem to be aware of it. According to the guidelines issued by the Chief Administrator, HUDA, the gates are expected to remain open from 5 am to 11 pm from March 1 till October 30 and from 6 am to 10 pm in winter.
“At least one gate will remain open for the whole night with a watchman for 24 hours. The salary of the watchman shall be borne by the Residents Welfare Association,” stated one of the guidelines.
Nayar said the guidelines need to be implemented through a government agency and the associations should ensure the implementation of the timings. “There should not be any disagreement about which gate to keep open and which not as it is a matter of security,” he said.
Many residents feel it has become necessary for public safety that the gates are installed. “The security concerns remain the same everywhere and we need to take extra measures for our safety. Some gates have been installed many years back. The August violence is also a cause for the increase in trend,” said Sumit Aggarwal of Sector 6.
Mangat Rai Syal of Sector 18 said the gates have not been installed yet and the administration has also not made any effort to do so. “Our sector is very small and I do not think we will be able to afford the gates on our own,” he said.
The matter on entry gates was also taken up by the MC House recently and the committee has been tasked to decide as to who should bear the cost of the entry gates.