After the December 16 gang-rape incident, the Delhi Police had identified 250 stretches in the city as unsafe for women and deployed extra police on those routes. Prominent among them being the stretch connecting Noida with East Delhi, Vasant Kunj area behind Jawaharlal Nehru University and roads going towards Dwarka.
These routes are part of eleven districts in the Capital and touted as the most vulnerable for women as found by a joint survey by the Delhi Police and the Unified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Plg & Engg) Centre (UTIPEC). The survey also noted that many of these areas were poorly lit.
About 225 of the 250 stretches in the five areas of Outer Ring Road (Munirka-Mahipalpur), Dhaula Kuan cloverleaf, Dwarka sub-city, Nehru District Centre and resettlement colony at Bhalswa were found to be poorly lit as per the survey.
A senior police officer said: “A report on the dark, vulnerable stretches was submitted to the Lieutenant-Governor recently. He has instructed the civic agencies to light up these areas within 15 days.”
“However, from our side we have already deployed extra policemen in all those areas from the past one year. These stretches include all the routes taken by women while coming back from offices late at night, the routes that connect to the major markets, and those that connect to the National Capital Regions like Ghaziabad, Gurgaon and Noida,” the officer added.
According to the police, the L-G’s office had said that all agencies responsible for constructing, operating and maintaining roads and public spaces will be made co-accused, along with the enforcement agency concerned, in case of any offence against women, children, disabled and senior citizens around these areas due to improper lighting,
The Delhi Police are now also making a list of poorly-lit bus stops.
Meanwhile, upset and angry with the rising incidents of sexual violence against women in the Capital, college students and working women spoke about how the city has now become a virtual “all-men zone”.
Shivani Goel a student interning with a publishing house in the city said: “My parents do not want me to continue my internship because sitting in Bihar and following the news from the Capital they are sure that I am unsafe in Delhi. They are constantly on the phone with me after 7 p.m. enquiring about my whereabouts.” Mansi Goel, a Delhi University student, said: “The university is the hub of youth from all over the country with almost 60 per cent of the student population coming here from outside. But each day of college looks like another dangerous affair. Women rarely move or explore the city beyond ‘safe areas’ during the ‘safe time’. Leave alone the rest of the city, even the university area lacks adequate police patrolling.”