S Govindan, the president of the Federation of Perumbakkam welfare associations said that all the streetlights on more than one-kilometre-stretch of DLF Garden City Road do not work. “Several miscreants frequent the area in the darkness and the area has become unsafe for women after dark,” he said.
According to sources, streetlights on the road were erected by a private real estate promoter more than a year ago, but the local body had failed to maintain them. “When we spoke to the Thazhambur Panchayat officials, they refused to fix the streetlights citing that it was the builder’s responsibility to repair it,” Govindan said.
Residents have a similar complaint about a park in the neighbourhood which too is dimly lit. This emboldens the anti-social elements locality who use the dark roads and the park for to drink alcohol and create nuisance.
“We have come across women selling ganja and other illegal substances on the road in the cover of darkness. Because of this, we have been avoiding the road after dark,” a resident said.
Apart from the DLF Garden City Road, streetlights on Arts and Science College Road has also been dysfunctional for several months.
Govindan said that the streetlights on the Arts and Science College Road were installed by the Tamil Nadu Slum Clearance Board (TNSCB). “We have been requesting the TNSCB officials to repair the streetlights, but they have been delaying it. On the other hand, Thazhambur Panchayat officials also refuse to fix the streetlights, he alleged.
Perumbakkam has become one of the vulnerable crime zones as the slum residents from several parts of the city have been relocated to the slum clearance board tenements. Incidents of clashes between the residents and relocated families are common. Also, there is a rift between the relocated families based from where were shifted.
“Lack of streetlights on the two major roads will lead to untoward incidents due to such unrest. Authorities should fix the streetlights to make the locality safer,” Govindan urged.
When DT Next contacted a panchayat official, he assured to repair the streetlights and maintain them in future.
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