NEW DELHI, June 10: Amidst increasing incidents of crime and accidents due to lack of street lights in Delhi, Greenpeace India today proposed lighting up of dark spots in the city using solar street light systems to make such areas safe for women and children.
The international NGO, launched a report on clean electricity today, which was prepared in partnership with National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA)
Stating that Delhi has at least 700 dark spots, the report recommended that over the next five years, existing street lights should be replaced with LEDs and remaining deficits of lights be met with only stand alone solar street lights - both energy saving solutions.
Furthermore, in the next ten years, every existing street light could be retro-fitted with solar panels as well, one of the report's recommendations said.
The NGO said that Delhi has been witnessing increasing incidence of crime and accidents and inadequate lighting on streets, which are known more by the number of dark spots than connectivity, increase risk.
"Increased inconsistency of street lighting can lead to increase in cases of theft, eve-teasing and stalking, and even rape," it said.
"India's developmental challenges do not need repetitive rhetoric, it needs creative solutions. Greenpeace's sustainable street lighting proposal is a creative solution that not only addresses the issue of women's safety, but also helps Delhi save taxpayer money in the long run, and adopt a non-polluting pathway," Pujarini Sen, Climate and Energy Campaigner for Greenpeace India, said.
"The AAP-led Delhi government had identified finding solutions to the dark spots in the city as a priority and this lays out a blueprint on how it can deliver on this.
"Greenpeace calls on Manish Sisodia (Urban Development Minister, Delhi) to take the first steps towards lighting up the dark spots in Delhi," the statement said.
Greenpeace Society of India had filed RTIs to find accurate information from all 11 districts of Delhi about the number of dark spots. "It was found that there are 700 dark spots in Delhi."
Sen said, "Implementing solar street light systems in all of the 700 dark spots will cost the government less than Rs 10 crore. In addition, the programme will help meet Delhi's renewable purchase obligation target by over six percent.
"This design can also be replicated for central government's smart cities plan," she added.
Greenpeace India said the AAP government has proposed solutions in terms of deploying women security forces in the dark spots.
"However, the effectiveness of women security force would be lost without adequate lighting," it said, adding, even CCTV installations without proper lighting would fail to capture usable evidence.
The report also recommended that every street light should be fitted with sensors, so that it gets switched on at dusk and off at dawn.