Saturday, February 17, 2018
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dark streets

There is no doubt that darkness breeds conditions for crime to thrive. That is why the importance of street lights has been recognized since time immemorial. In the hoary past, gas lights would illumine the roads at night. In other places street lights consisted of kerosene lamps pitched atop huge poles.

Those were the days when it used to be said that students were burning the midnight oil (kerosene oil to light lanterns) to pursue  their studies and prepare for their examinations. There used to be reports about some poor boys studying in the night under the street lamps as the houses were not electrified then and every one could not afford a lantern to remain lit the whole night.

But now times have changed. We have bright street lights to illumine our roads. However, when these lights go out of power leaving behind a trail of inky darkness then it becomes very difficult for people living in the affected regions to move about freely on the roads or to even feel safe inside their houses. And the latest victim in this regard has been the Mehdauri colony. Our esteemed reader and senior citizen, Mr S.S.Majithia, retired senior Railway engineer, rang up the Patrika the other day to inform us that road lights in his area have not been working for the last few days. If I remember this problem was experienced in the past as well. But it was resolved. Now the same problem has re-emerged and Mr Majithia says that dark roads are extending a warm invitation to burglars to have a go. He says that ever since the street lights have been off or have been playing hide and seek, the number of thefts in the locality has gone up. People do not feel safe inside their houses, especially the senior citizens because often the criminals target them.
Mr Majithia says that this being the wedding season, people have to go to distant colonies to attend the marriage ceremonies of relatives and friends. They have to leave their houses locked. With visibility nil, the well-meaning neighbours, even if they want to keep an eye on the locked premises are unable to do so owing to inky darkness,. He says when it is so dark outside people prefer to remain indoors and, due to intense cold, if not fog at times, people remain indoor using their inverters to keep the inside of their premises lighted. That is why when someone goes into the balcony from a lighted room,  the all-pervading darkness appears to be more dark. In fact one may call it blinding darkness. Mr Majithia has appealed to all concerned to give priority to the matter of restoring the street lights where they are not working. He says, ‘If elaborate arrangements can be made for Mela year after year, can’t the authorities take a little more care of the street lights in the city as well?’

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