Even as demonstrations and discussions on women’s safety do the rounds triggered by the gang-rape and death of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi, a recent survey conducted in the city reveals that 69 per cent of the women feel unsafe here.

The respondents to a survey on urban problems conducted by students of the sociology department of St. Teresa’s College cited increasing incidents of eve teasing and abuse in public transport among the major problems faced by women. This was a regular feature in the lives of school and college students, the survey revealed.

The survey threw up a surprise with 51 per cent of the respondents preferring a flyover to the proposed Metro Rail as a solution to the city’s traffic problems. The survey had a sample size of 200 respondents.

Sixty-five per cent of the respondents found city roads highly unsatisfactory, especially those in West Kochi. Eighty per cent were not happy with traffic control measures citing absence of traffic signals, footpaths, and parking space. Though 85 per cent of respondents reported availability of corporation water and vouched for its quality, 56 per cent complained of ‘impure water’.

Interestingly, 43 per cent said they managed waste on their own compared to 46 per cent who were dependent on facilities offered by the Corporation and another 13.25 per cent on Kudumbasree. Among the respondents, 8.4 per cent have biogas plants at home. Sixty-nine per cent desired to set up a biogas plant while 31 per cent were opposed to it on account of space constraints.

More than 90 per cent complained of pollution of some kind with 65.5 per cent complaining of air pollution, 35 per cent of water pollution, and 20.4 per cent of noise pollution. The city’s recreational facilities drew flak from the respondents as 65 per cent of them expressing dissatisfaction with parks, gardens, and stadiums. They felt the Corporation had failed to maintain the parks, which had become a safe haven for anti-social elements.

Later, talking at a colloquium on urban planning organised by the college, City Police Commissioner said the police had initiated programmes to ensure the safety of women.

K.J. Sohan, chairman of town planning standing committee of the Corporation, said development of suburban areas should be given due importance in urban planning.Rajan Chedambath, director, Centre for Heritage Environment and Development called for the preservation of the city’s history while planning its future.

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