An open invitation for criminals to act, escape
Mysore/Mysuru: The city has seen a string of crimes last week including a gang rape, dacoity and shootout. Following these crimes, Police have stepped up security and vigil at dark, bushy and secluded places around the foot of Chamundi Hill where now there is constant patrolling, assuring a sense of security round-the-clock.
But the crucial aspect of security along the 42-km Ring Road (National Highway 275-K) has not been taken into consideration. The four-lane road continues to be in the dark and off the radar though there is periodic Police patrolling after 7 pm.
Driving on this road in the middle of the night or early in the morning has become frightening. Most of the crimes occurring in Mysuru city are being reported on the Ring Road though the road is a life-saver during medical emergencies as many patients heading to hospitals are taken on this road to reach hospitals on time avoiding the city traffic. Also it makes more sense to travel on the Ring Road as many hospitals are either located on the Ring Road or close to it.
Darkness is an important driving factor for crimes and criminals have taken advantage of the lightless Ring Road to commit a crime and quickly get away. Apart from road accidents on the Ring Road, cases of waylaying offences and robberies have also been reported.
Apart from this, incidents of chain-snatching and waylaying two-wheeler riders and lorry drivers also are reported at regular intervals. The Ring Road that glows for about a month or so during Dasara remains under darkness for the rest of 11 months.
Residents along the Ring Road said that streetlights on these stretches lying defunct for years have led to an alarming rise in road accidents and crimes. “I have stopped going out after evening as the Ring Road has been without street lights for several months now. It is hard to believe that such an important aspect has been ignored by the Government,” said a resident near the Royal Inn Junction.
Easy getaway route
Areas along the stretch and the secluded places on the service road including Hebbal, Hinkal, Bogadi, Dattagalli, Srirampura, Bandipalya, Uttanahalli, Hanchya-Sathagalli have become a haven for drunkards and anti-social elements where they indulge in crimes including robbery, waylaying and even sexual assaults after getting drunk.
Notably, after committing the crime, they can easily get away from the Ring Road and darkness facilitates the escapades like it happened in the recent MBA student’s gang rape at Lalithadripura. The accused managed to reach Tamil Nadu in their goods vehicle without even giving a faint idea to the Police that such a crime was executed.
The Ring Road has 2,135 electric poles and each pole has two lights — 4,270 bulbs — and all of them have become defunct now as many are burnt-out and rodents have eaten off the wires as they have been laid under the box drain that has been constructed in the middle of the Road.
Over 1,136 electricity poles of the total 2,135 come under MUDA while the rest come under the jurisdiction of MCC and Zilla Panchayat (ZP).
As per an estimate prepared by MUDA, Rs. 6 crore is needed to replace the defunct bulbs and insulate and re-install rodent-eaten wires. In the past too, many announcements were made to restore the lights back on the Ring Road but all the announcements have remained on paper.