Dark stretches of roads, lack of transit options and poorly maintained footpaths continue to keep a large part of Delhi unsafe for women, resulting in low female presence in the city’s public spaces after sunset, a Delhi government-commissioned audit has found.
The audit — conducted by the NGO Safetipin between January and May 2019 — also revealed that the departments concerned of MCDs have put up streetlights in the last three years, on being prodded by the Delhi government, bringing down the number of dark stretches from 7,438 to 2,768. “On submitting the report to the Delhi government, the departments concerned of all MCDs carried out work for improvement. This included fixing non-operational streetlights and installing new street lights, wherever dark spots were identified. In some areas where illumination was insufficient, additional street lights were installed,” the report said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal shared some of the basic findings of the report in a press conference. Later, the Delhi government launched its scheme to install 2.1 lakh additional streetlights, which will draw power from individual households and commercial establishments.
The state government will reimburse consumers whose connections will be used to power the lights. By the end of January, 50,000 new street lights will be installed across Delhi, while the entire project will be completed within four months, Kejriwal said.
“The biggest problem we faced in eliminating dark spots was the lack of approval from MCDs in installing poles and streetlights on their streets. This innovative scheme bypasses the role of MCDs and provides a direct solution,” the CM said, referring to the Mukhyamantri Streetlight Yojana.
The Safetipin survey, which covered the entire city including streets, transport hubs, markets, public toilets, parks and other public spaces, gave a rating of 2.5 out of 5 (average) to Delhi. While lighting and public transport were rated average, visibility was rated poor, making it the least rated parameter in terms of physical infrastructure:“Gender usage at most of the bus stops has been rated poor, indicating low presence of girls and women, especially after evening hours.”
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines