mid-day editorial: When will the authorities see the light?

By  mid-day Correspondent | Posted  25-Apr-2017

Motorists and pedestrians using a busy pothole-ridden 500-metre stretch under the Metro line on JP Road, below the Versova Metro station risk their lives daily, thanks to defunct streetlights on the stretch.

A prominent report in the paper drew attention to the trepidation those passing through the dark patches feel as they negotiate the stretch. Post that report, work began in a few hours, to reinstall the streetlights indicating that there can be quick action, when there is will.

This is a seminal road which sees at least 10,000 vehicles a day and a large amount of pedestrian traffic too. It should, ideally have at least 30 streetlights. Like the report states, Versova is the last station on the 11.04-km-long Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar Metro corridor. So the road is used by a large number of Metro commuters.

Mumbaikars are aware that the city's crowded streets see a perennial battle between vehicles and pedestrians. Motorists try to dodge jaywalkers and have to screech to a halt for pedestrians making a dash for it, to cross to the other side. In the midst of the melee is the traffic cop, finding a method to the madness.

Even with all this, Mumbai is known for traffic discipline though the reputation has been taking a battering off late. We did however have a well-deserved reputation for having good streetlights and better illuminated roads than most other cities in the country. We must live up to that.

There is little use having Metros when supporting infrastructure is either not repaired or absent.

Consider too, the security risk the absence of lights pose and how dark stretches become rife for crime. After our report, work on the streetlights was on. Yet, it must take constant vigilance and alacrity of action by those responsible, rather than a newspaper report to point out the lacunae.