The heart of darkness

The heart of darkness

Pedestrian woes

The heart of darkness

The City is growing rapidly but despite this, one can still find many dingy and unlit streets here which add to the existing road woes for the pedestrian and vehicle owners. The irony of this is that Bengaluru also houses certain stretches that have streetlights switched on till noon.

Mismanaged streetlights are an issue, be it in the heart of the City or on off-city limits. There are even stretches in the Central Business District which do not have functional streetlights. “This is the case even on roads like the Raj Bhavan Road, near the GPO. There are either no lights or they flicker, which is irritating,” says Santhosh Thomas, a businessman. He adds that this is risky for passers-by as they can barely see what is in front of them, unless there are other vehicles on the road.

Tumkur Road and other stretches in Sanjayanagar, Bannerghatta Road, Yeswantpur and Hebbal have streets with no lights too. Citizens like Anup Bhat, associate manager with an IT organisation, who travels to Yeswantpur, says that it gets problematic when there are no streetlights in areas which do not have properly levelled roads. Apart from lack of lighting, the roads are often dug up as well. “The Mathikere Market road which leads to MS Ramaiah Hospital is dug up every 10 metres and during the night, this is one of the scariest stretches to drive on. The roads are also narrow and it’s a nightmare to cross this area,” details Anup.

He adds, “The funny part is that in Yeswantpur, there are many streets in HMT Layout and BK Nagar that do not have streetlights and on the other hand, there are streets in the same area where they are switched on during the day.” Residents of areas like Ganganagar also say that one can see streetlights lit during the day. “It is frustrating when one can see them lit well during the daytime while they are not switched on even when its 9 pm on other days,” says Sreerekha KA, a teacher. She says that a regulatory board to keep a tab on this is much needed. “Also, there should be people appointed in each locality to keep a watch on essentials like proper lighting on roads, as it is also a safety issue,” she says.

Sreerekha adds that she is often left flabbergasted when streetlights are lit even on main roads during daytime. “Sometimes, a whole stretch of streetlights is switched on, since they are connected to just one fuse, which is a waste of energy.”

Roads near Bangalore University are a scary stretch with no proper streetlights too. Santhosh GR, a young professional, who uses the route often, says that it is only on the main roads that proper lighting can be seen. “Most inner roads don’t have streetlights.

The University area and other roads around are as dense as a forest. Most people try and avoid this route unless there is no other option.”

The worst conditions are where the roads are also broken with hidden dangers like unmarked zebra crossings or medians. In Gangamma Circle, there is a lack of streetlights along with hidden deathtraps. Unnikrishnan, a garage owner, at Abbigere, says that the area from BEL Circle going to Jalahalli Cross Road doesn’t have lighting. “The road was fixed a while back, but potholes have reappeared, making it difficult to travel. There is also a median on this stretch which isn’t marked with reflectors. Motorists are either forced to use high beam headlights or face the risk of not seeing the road properly.”

Like other concerned citizens, he questions the authorities about the missing streetlights. “One can see so many faulty streetlights here, just like in many other areas in the City. Why can’t there be a proper and planned system?” he laments.