Few streetlights are installed, and that too only in front of houses, leaving the connecting roads of Devagere in darkness.
Fewer streetlights are causing inconvenience and raising safety concerns for the residents of Devagere. As the lights are installed only in front of the houses, the roads connecting Devagere to Nallakamba circle and Thagachaguppe are left in darkness. With the streets getting dark after the sunset, pedestrians walking on the road find it unsafe, especially women and children. According to the village crime history report by Kaggalipura police station, there has been an increase in the cases of robbery, theft and trespassing.
“It’s not safe to walk at night in the village and while returning from college after the bus drops us at Devager bus stop; we don’t feel safe to walk to our houses because it’s too dark after late evening,” says Rashmitha, who was returning from Kengeri Pre-University College.
According to Kavya, a resident of Devagere, “After 9 p.m. we don’t find it safe to walk on the streets and avoid walking to the market. In case of an emergency, we can only travel by bike or car.” Since most of the girls do not know how to drive, they complain that if they need anything late at night, they have to wait for their father or brother to come back from work and buy the necessities.
Karnataka Panchayat Raj Act 1993 states it is obligatory “to provide an adequate number of streetlights.” Even after the introduction of this Act, the issue of streetlights has not been resolved by the authorities.
Narendra Babu, Panchayat Development Officer (PDO) of K. Gollahalli, acknowledged the problem of fewer streetlights in Devagere and said, “As we witness frequent and heavy rain in Bangalore, the streetlight poles catch fire due to short circuit. We find it difficult to maintain those streetlights because we have been asked to employ only one electrician in the panchayat office.”
Police Inspector Kamappa at the Kaggalipura Police Station stated, “People do feel unsafe due to the dark streets and there has been a slight increase in theft cases and road accidents in the past three years.”
Experts said that more streetlights were needed. K. B. Chaitra, Urban Design Professor at BGS School of Architecture and Planning explained, “According to the bylaws, at least one streetlight should be installed at a distance of every 8 to 10 meters and one streetlight in front of every alternate plot.”