Darkness descends on Salt Lake roads

Roads in several blocks in Salt Lake have been plunging into darkness after dusk over the past couple of months because of defunct lights.

By Snehal Sengupta
  • Published 3.09.18
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Dark roads in Salt Lake on Sunday evening. The light in the pictures is from car headlamps and the camera’s flashgun. Pictures by Sanat Kr. Sinha

Salt Lake: Roads in several blocks in Salt Lake have been plunging into darkness after dusk over the past couple of months because of defunct lights.

Residents say they think twice before driving down the stretches at night.

Commuters enter Salt Lake from the Bypass through a well-lit road beside the Jal Vayu Vihar housing complex, near the Chingrighata crossing, but move into a dark zone near EE block in Sector II.

Cars moving towards Bidhannagar Municipal School in FE block along the Eastern Drainage Canal have to negotiate a road that is not only dark but riddled with craters.

"Half the street lights in our block have become defunct and the others are not bright enough. The lights that function only produce long shadows, instead of illuminating the streets," said Biswajit Paul, a resident of HA block.

"The street lights and the lights in the block's park that were damaged in a storm in April have not yet been replaced," another resident of HA block said.

The crater-filled road leading towards the Anindita Island from tank number 13 in IB block does not have a single light that works.

Partha Chowdhury, a resident of the block, said the lights had remained defunct for over two months.

"I avoid driving down the stretch at night. My car had a flat tyre after I hit a pothole that I failed to spot in the dark," said Chowdhury.

The mayor of the Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, Sabyasachi Dutta, said: "We want to replace all sodium vapour lamps in Salt Lake and its adjoining areas, including Baguiati, airport and parts of Rajarhat, with LED lights. But we have not been able to do that yet because of an internal problem. The lights which were damaged by storm in Salt Lake will be replaced soon," Dutta told Metro on Sunday.

The project to replace sodium vapour lamps with LED lights has been termed "Alo Amar Alo".

Sources said the Trinamul Congress-led civic board at a recent meeting assigned the task of implementing the Alo Amar Alo project to mayor Dutta.

"At the meeting the councillors unanimously asked the mayoral council member in charge of lights, Sudhir Saha, to step down," a source said.

Saha refused to comment on the issue.