Thursday, January 18, 2018
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The authorities are assuring and   reassuring the Mela visitors of full safety and all comforts (though preparations are still incomplete as usual!), stressing that strict vigilance is planned with several spy cameras installed  at crucial spots. That is good planning. But what about the city roads from the Railway  Station or Bus stops to the Mela area?

Those disembarking at Allahabad at night could be put to serious risk if they are greeted by dark roads on a foggy night.
I wish the police authorities to ponder over a dangerous possibility. The street lights may be in order. The Nagar Nigam linesman may be switching them on and off at the fixed hour. But there are many anti-social elements  on the prowl. They know the switch which the Nagar Nigam linesman switches on and off. Once the lights have been switched on, no one bothers about what happens thereafter till the next morning when the linesman stirs out of his cosy surroundings to switch off the street lights. But what if some anti-social elements later in the  night switch off the lights as that would help them to pursue their dark deeds without being recognized.
It is through such foggy dark roads that the pilgrims visiting Allahabad for the Mela  would be passing  on their way to the Sangam. Some of them prefer to walk because they cannot afford the steep hike in tempo fares.  It is these pedestrians who are likely to fall a victim to the highway thieves who might have planned the darkness to avoid being recognized by anyone.   
I was reminded of this when I stirred out round 6am from my house for a morning walk on Monday. There was none around.  But the Elgin Road from Clive Road crossing till the Head Post Office and beyond  also as well as to the left on the Sarojini Naidu Marg till the  Cathedral was plunged in darkness. There were hardly any cops around. Any crook would and could easily attack the pilgrims passing through the foggy streets and  fleece every penny out of them. The Government should plan the installation of CCTV cameras at vintage points in the city. An announcement to this effect was made long ago. But  one cannot be sure whether the plans to install CCTV cameras at vintage points in the city have been carried out or not.
I once again received a distress call from Mr SS Majithia who told me that street lights in their Mehdauri Colony  area  again plunged into darkness. He also endorses my view by stressing that foggy nights have made matters worse.  He referred to a comical  incident. One of the Mehdauri colony residents was returning from night duty. He could barely see, so low was the visibility.  Mr Majithia says: ‘This man almost dashed against a woman out on morning walk with her sahelis. He said, ‘Behenji, forgive me....’ The lady flared up and said, ‘Behenji my foot. I won’t forgive you. Cant’s you recognize me? I am not your Behenjee. I am your wife..And heaven save  from your sister... ’. Mr Majithia says, ‘All that the husband could say was, ‘Tusi great ho jee’.  But jokes apart, the people of Mehdauri colony are once again worked up because of the dead street lights. Are the lights deliberately made non-functional by highway robbers?  Who will answer?

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