Mumbai: Scared commuters flee as lights go out on Goregaon skywalk
The skywalk used to see a daily footfall of over 8,000, but locals say commuters, primarily women, stopped taking it ever since lights on the stretch stopped functioning, fearing a threat to their safety; BMC and Reliance say everything is fine
The Goregaon skywalk has been in the dark for the last four days. Pic/Sneha Kharabe
If a picture could speak a thousand words, this photograph would give you a glimpse of the fear that lurks beyond it. Over the last four days, Karishma Sharma has come to realise that the streets are safer than the 25-m skywalk outside Goregaon station. The 22-year-old has been avoiding the skywalk that connects the station with SV Road, after the stretch has seen no electricity.
Women stay away
The skywalk used to see a daily footfall of over 8,000, but locals say commuters, primarily women, stopped taking it ever since lights on the stretch stopped functioning, fearing a threat to their safety. Many commuters like Sharma have changed their routes. “Regardless of how late it gets, I take the road now. The dark skywalk looks unsafe,” she says.
Hawkers who sell their wares on the skywalk say the lights used to deter anti-social elements. “When the skywalk was opened [2013-14], nefarious activities like prostitution, chain snatching and sexual harassment were rampant. But the police cracked down. Now that the lights have gone defunct, the chances of it repeating are high,” says Anis Shaikh, a hawker. Romit Patel (21), a Goregaon resident, raises the suspicion that the BMC had defaulted on paying the power bills. The BMC and Reliance Energy, which supplies power to the skywalk, however, claim that the lights are operational.
No problem: Officials
Santosh Dhonde, ward officer, rubbishes the allegation that the BMC defaulted on bill payments. He, however, admits that in the last six months, three complaints of defunct lights have been filed.
A Reliance Energy rep said power supply to the skywalk had not been disconnected.