CHANDIGARH: Four days after three men in an auto-rickshaw gang-raped a passenger in the forest area of Sector 53, people have started seeing figures in the massive wild growth along the road.
The horticulture wing of the municipal corporation has started trimming the bushes around the scene of crime but it was long deaf to this request from the people of southern sectors when they were first worried for the safety of their women and children. The welfare bodies of Sectors 40 and 51 sounded them many times. No action came, and the forest strip in Sector 40 turned into a garbage dump, where the threat of an attack always lurks after dark.
Wild growth has eaten an entire service lane behind the houses and the residents have complained to police many times that the stretch remains so lonely at night that anyone heading home by that route at that hour is easy prey for accosters. Women, especially, avoid taking this road for the fear chain-snatchers and louts. Gunjan Narula, a local woman, said: “Since I live close to the deserted road, it gets scarier after dark. We are always wary of someone’s presence in the wild growth and a possible threat from such an element.”
The burnt out streetlights don’t help either. The streets are too dark at night for anyone to muster the courage to step out.
Satinder Singh, a resident of Sector 40, said: “We have defunct streetlights along several stretches. At night, the ill-lit internal roads are perfect spots for a miscreant to lay an ambush and get away after crime.” These urban forests are favourite dens of drug abusers, who leave a trail of empty vials, syringes, and bottles.
Even in Sector 51, the wild growth has crept very close to the houses. In housing societies, people have stopped leaving their flats unattended. They fear that thieves might be surveying their homes from the camouflage of this dense growth. Jaddayal Singh, a resident of Sector 51, said: “The latest crime against a young woman in Sector 53 reminds us of the wild growth in our neighbourhood. The vegetation has taken over the entire backyards of some houses.”
Another resident, college teacher Sukhprit Dhillon, said: “The small jungle is a convenient place to commit crime. The removal of the wild growth will make the area a little safer.”
Date : 27 November 2017