Women have been sexually assaulted time and again at Hitec City, and erratic street lights and pockets of darkness in the IT corridor aren’t helping

The glitz surrounding the software companies and upscale office buildings at Hitec City and nearby areas is well-known. But the darkness that envelops these shining beacons of the new market economy refuses to part, despite numerous cases of sexual assaults on women in these areas in the past few months. Approach roads to most software companies and nearby colonies are still unlit, and could prove dangerous, many software employees complain.

“Though the core of Hitec City area is usually well-lit, there are many pockets of darkness where even men could face trouble, let alone women,” Ranjit Kumar, an employee of a multinational company, points out. Just lighting up these areas could have a deterrent effect on mischief mongers, he observes.

While the core areas have pockets of darkness, outlying areas where most software company employees reside, do not have lights for entire stretches, says S. Kirti, another software employee.

“Going back home each day is an exercise in caution as we have to request male colleagues to accompany us, or go in groups. Indeed, selecting male colleagues whom we can trust becomes a task in itself,” she rued, pointing out that proper lighting could at least give a semblance of security.

Authorities too are aware of these problems.

“There are a number of places in areas such as Rajendranagar, Shamshabad, Nizampet and Miyapur where there is a need to install new street lights and replace fused ones,” a police official admitted. Despite projecting the requirements to the municipal corporation nearly two months ago, the problem still persists, he laments.

Members of Cyberabad Security Council – an industry-government effort to ensure security in the IT corridor – say lighting at core areas like Madhapur and Gachibowli were being periodically checked.

“We got more than 100 new light poles installed in the core areas recently. We do not have funds to cater to the extended areas as of now, but we can address specific complaints,” Council Secretary Srinivasa Prasad, said.

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