Mumbai: Lights return to ill-lit Wadala road

Following mid-day’s report on the pitch-dark 1.5 km stretch near Bhakti Park, BEST officials have restored streetlights on the road, after a 20-day drive

A Wadala resident just won back her right to brighter, well-lit streets. A month after mid-day reported Dr Surekha Kamath’s request to add streetlights to the 1.5-km pitch-dark road from Shanti Nagar signal to Bhakti Park under the Monorail, BEST has fixed it as a part of a special drive.

Read Story: Dark stretch under monorail worries senior citizen, authorities unresponsive

Dr Surekha Kamath
Dr Surekha Kamath

The 20-day drive, conducted by BEST authorities, which included four teams of officials, labourers and electricians, has successfully restored the street lights on the entire stretch, relieving the residents of the nightmare of stepping out on the road after dark.

In the March 10 mid-day report, Dr Surekha Kamath, a 69-year-old former anaesthesia professor at Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, who had moved to Wadala in 2008, had complained about how it is almost impossible to step out or come back home after 8 pm, because of a lack of streetlights on the stretch. mid-day had also revealed how the stretch becomes a hotspot for hooligans at night, making it even more dangerous.

So relieved
“I am so relieved now. I would get invited for a number of seminars and conferences but while returning from there, I realised how dangerous this area gets at night. The roads would be pitch dark, with no shops or houses around, trucks parked on the entire lane and no place to walk. For me and the thousand others staying in the same vicinity, it was a very dangerous stretch to pass. Thanks to mid-day, the stretch has been lit up now and all the residents are thoroughly happy that we can step out now,” said Kamath.

BEST officials confirmed they worked for over 20 days to complete the work on the entire stretch. They said that a number of underground wires were stolen, some miscreants had also bent the light poles, stolen the light bulbs and even cut off three entire poles. The officials said they repaired a total of 38 light poles to restore the lights on either side of the roads. They also had to install 24 underground cables, because the electricity supply was cut out due to stolen cables. There were eight bent poles, which had to be removed, straightened out and installed again. Officials also installed three new poles, which were cut out and stolen.

BEST says
Speaking to mid-day, M R Dharaskar from BEST said they have completed the work and even painted the light poles, “We wanted to do the maintenance work which had been pending since a long time. But, it is complete now and we have our vigilance teams keeping a watch on the stretch.”

He added, “We have also sent letters to police officials, requesting them to take action on the miscreants, because if they steal and damage again, it gets difficult to restore the work. We have already registered three FIRs and around 40 NCs about the hooligans who steal and damage the light poles, wires, bulbs and electric boxes, we hope the police will keep a watch and take necessary action.”

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