Panchkula: Dark corners in a public space can be disturbing, more so for women travelling alone to which the city seems to have too many of them. Even as the authorities are gearing up to establish Panchkula as a smart city, a reality check during the late night hours revealed the pathetic state of streetlights, along with security in the region.
The city does not seem to be safe during the night hours. The roads are wide and there is hardly any traffic. Even cops are missing at these hours of night, and traffic lights are either on blink mode or simply ignored. However, it is the right time and ultimate chance to drive how you want to and also the absolute state to face some misfortune.
In order to take the feel of the haunting roads and danger of the dark hours, this correspondent drove around the city for a reality check on Thursday night.
‘’It was 11 pm, and I started from Sectors 12-4 dividing road. At the first turn from traffic lights of the dividing road, had to press the brakes quickly as stray cattle were on their way and the vehicles were rushing on high speed as the traffic lights were just blinking.
‘’Following this, I continued my drive and reached a round-about of Sector 11 Panchkula where the PCR shelter was lying vacant as no police official or a PCR was ready to take up on their toes.’’
It was shocking after reaching Sector 10, adjacent to Panchkula Bus stand where food lovers were having their dinner at the Panchkula’s only food point. It was a mere irresponsibility of the people and that of the cops which were not on checking drive during night as many people including youths were found drinking in the public place, in the parking of these food joints and outside liquor tavern, which is parallel to these shops. No PCR or bike riders were on patrolling or checking at this vary point.
Moving forward toward Sectors 9, 8, 7 and 6, it was witnessed that the traffic lights at Sector 10 near the BSNL office behind which is the main centre of the city i.e. Sector 5 and Sector 5 Police Station, there was not a cop in sight. As we drove towards the other sectors, we only had the headlights to show us around 100 meters ahead; there was no streetlight functioning. Youths in cars and bikes were speeding by violating the norms.
At the Shalimar Mall Chowk, around 11.40 pm, again there was no police vehicle and no check to halt the traffic. Following this at the road leading to Chandigarh railway station around 11.50 pm, a cop was sitting on a chair outside a police tent, but he did not stop anyone from whether youth were triple riding or were violating norms. Also the same was witnessed at the Panchkula-Chandigarh main point i.e. housing board point where also, two cops were seen sitting but not checking any vehicle coming from the Chandigarh side to Panchkula.
‘’Driving on, I reached outside the civil hospital, where it was complete dark and no single light turned on, thus creating a perfect crime spot with no police official at the traffic lights nearby the hospital.
‘’Following this after driving through various Sectors, only one PCR was seen outside Bella Vista hotel. Further around 12.15 am, near Panchkula mini secretariat and Sector 1, Government College near Majri Chowk and highway leading to Pinjore-Kalka, did not encounter a single cop on the road.’’
The road ahead to Panchkula-Zirakpur highway near Tau Devi Lal Stadium, Sector 3 was dark with some villages on the sides adding to the effect of non-functional streetlights and traffic lights just a mere formality. Until after half past midnight, no cops were seen deputed or patrolling here with two drunken men fighting at the side by and a few were seen sleeping on the footpath under the tunnel.
‘’As I drove across to the other parts, the road leading to Barwala-Yamunanagar highway was having two PCRs at the starting point and cops were deputed there.’’
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