A few unoccupied buildings and the unlit stretches in and around the Central Polytechnic (CPT) campus in Taramani have become the frequent haunts of anti-social elements, especially during night. Several complaints of eve-teasing, chain-snatching and mugging had been reported from the area recently.
The campus is home to several research and educational institutions and also has a cricket ground. Several hundred persons, many of them students, come to the campus every day. Some of the institutions also have hostels. The area is preferred by morning walkers and those learning to drive.
One of the demands of those working late at the institutions is the need for better street-lighting facilities on the roads in and around the campus. They say inadequate illumination makes it easy for the culprits.
A security guard of an institution on the campus said pedestrians, mainly women avoid taking these streets after dark. Despite frequent police patrolling, groups of men from neighbouring localities often come to campus and consume alcohol in isolated areas, he added.
In September, a youth studying in an institution was assaulted and robbed on the 3rd Cross Street. “Around 7.45 p.m. three men on a motorcycle on the road stopped me and enquired about an address. Even as I was replying, two of them attacked me and sped away after snatching my mobile phone,” the victim said. He lodged a complaint with the Kotturpuram police and his attackers are yet to be traced. He added that eve-teasing was increasingly becoming a problem in the area.
Some weeks ago, motorcycle-borne thieves attempted to rob Nithyakalyani (31), a housekeeping employee of an IT firm, on the service lane of Rajiv Gandhi Salai. “I was returning home in the evening when the pillion rider tried to snatch my handbag. I was dragged 10 metres before he let go of my bag and the suspects sped away,” said the resident of Chintadripet who suffered bruises. She, however, did not prefer a police complaint.
Joint Commissioner of Police (South Zone) P.Sakthivel said police have indentified some streets in the area where patrolling is to be intensified. “We also will contact officials of Chennai Corporation and ask them to install street-lights in the area. Requisitions will be sent to institutions on the campus to provide adequate lighting facilities outside their premises,” he added.