NEW DELHI: Theft of street bulbs and signboards has become a recurring problem for the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) especially in areas beautified during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Drive along the Mother Crescent Road and one will notice many streetlight poles without any bulbs. Same is the case with the lion and hutment structures installed by NDMC during the CWG as only two or three out of a dozen put up on the high security road remain now.
Besides Mother Crescent Road, Baba Kharak Singh Marg and Janpath, which were especially taken up for NDMC's beautification and streetscaping work, have recently been witnessing a rise in the incidents of such thefts.
The problem does not remain confined in these areas.
According to NDMC officials, places in proximity with jhuggies such as Vinay Marg, Aurobindo Marg, Moti Bagh area too daily witness such incidents where the thieves successfully steal bulbs and sign boards to sell them in the black market.
"A 1000 FIRs have been filed in this regard under various police stations. The agency has to face losses daily due to these anti-social activities. And since, we can't leave the area in dark, we immediately install new lights," V K Pandey, Electrical Engineer, NDMC, said.
Most of the miscreants caught are minors and fall under the age group of 12-14. Therefore, police have no option but to let them off with a warning, Pandey said.
The police have tried to "lecture them" in front of their family members and neighbours but in vain.
"We are perplexed as their is no permanent solution to this problem. Police have also not been able to reduce these thefts. Besides raising questions on the law and order of the area, it causes us huge losses as we have to install new lights almost daily," said another NDMC official.
Another problem that the agency faces is theft of light connections by members of the area.
"We get complaints from Sanjay Gandhi camp in Chankyapuri that people belonging from the camp cut light connections during the night", Pandey said.
"We go and correct it, but this thing hasn't stopped," he said, adding, the agency has not been able to apprehend people responsible for this.
However, now the agency has decided to remove the remaining additional lights installed during CWG on some of the roads and put them up in various parks in areas such as Sarojini Nagar, Lakshmibai Nagar, Netaji Nagar.
"Some roads already have regular street lights. So, we are planning to remove the additional lights, which were installed only for the purpose of beautifying the roads during the CWG, and will put them up in parks and areas which require better lighting," Pandey said.