Inside Delhi

Lighting problem

Delhi's roads these days present a contrast at night. While some sections remain brightly lit with high mast lights and sodium vapour lamps, others go without proper illumination as either they have no lights at all or otherwise have been provided with tubelights which prove inadequate when it comes to lighting the streets.

And nowhere is this difference more visible than on National Highway No. 24 which connects Ring Road to the Capital's trans-Yamuna areas and also Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh. While near the Ring Road the highway is probably the best lit as the intersection has hundreds of light bulbs illuminating it, further down the highway tends to become darker over the Nizammuddin Bridge on the Yamuna. But still as the flow of traffic here is fast and there are no residential colonies around, it does not make much of a difference.

But beyond the Noida Mor flyover or Akshardham Setu, the highway becomes very dark as the tubelights, which have replaced the sodium vapour lamps installed earlier, are not able to adequately light up the roads. This poses a major threat as the stretch of the highway near Patparganj and Mayur Vihar Phase I is surrounded by slum clusters and it becomes difficult to spot the dwellers who run across to cross the road. Further, the road divider is full of shrubs and this makes it difficult to spot the dwellers standing amid them.

Though the authorities are now installing iron railings on the dividers to prevent people from crossing over at random, the installation of tube-lights has made the stretch very dark and forces motorists to drive the vehicles on high-beams thereby affecting motorists coming from the opposite direction.

The worst stretch of NH-24 with respect to lighting continues to be the Ghazipur crossing-Delhi border section as here there are no lights at all. And while some posts have been installed near the construction site of a flyover coming upon it, most often these are not working. It appears a rationale and uniform approach towards the issue of street-lighting is needed to stop wastage on the one hand and ensure adequacy at all points on the other.

Demand for I-cards

It is only on election eve that many high-profile people feel the need to have their names in the voters' list and get a Photo Identity Card made. Consequently, the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Delhi, is receives a large number of requests these days.

The requests come from politicians and bureaucrats to fashion designers. The other day, a fashion designer landed up at the Kashmiri Gate office of the CEO with the reference of a top South Block bureaucrat to get the photo card made. Not that she wanted to vote in this coming elections, but to use it as a proof of residence.

The fashion designer was adamant and insisted, "I want my photo card now." And though she was politely told several times that it was not possible to get a photo identity card made now, she immediately dialled the number of the high-profile bureaucrat. It was only after a lot of heated argument that she realised that it would take some time and left in a huff.

This is not the only case. In fact, a large number of bureaucrats and politicians want to be clicked right in their living room by photographers of the Election Commission for the photo identity cards. "They do not want to come to this place," officials said.

In fact, such is the pressure from these people that the CEO of Delhi was recently forced to issue an order that no more photo identity cards would be made at least till the Lok Sabha elections were over.

Medico directory

Having remained without an official directory for nearly seven years, the Delhi Medical Association is finally making amends. With one incomplete directory brought out some three years ago, the DMA today with a 10,000-strong membership from the private and government sector has brought out its latest directory which contains a list of almost all the doctors from various sectors in the Capital. The directory is priced at Rs. 3,000.

"The last directory of DMA was published in March 2000 and in the last three years almost all the telephone numbers of Delhi have changed and are still changing. The communication network has increased manifold and yet the public and even doctors are not aware of each other's contact numbers," says the former DMA president, Anil Bansal.

Also, DMA officials feel that the directory has been a long time coming as the Capital has no such list for the public. Aimed at making physicians and their services more accessible to the general public, the DMA hopes that the directory will work towards advancement of the doctor-public relationship. The directory provides more than just telephone numbers; it also has health slogans and messages for the general public.

By Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar, Lalit K. Jha and Bindu Shajan Perappadan

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