ISLAMABAD - Dysfunctional Street lights in many sectors of the federal capital may not be fixed in 2018 as an amount of Rs 180 million allocated some four months ago is yet to be released. Both Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI) and Capital Development Authority (CDA) were shifting the responsibility for inordinate delay on each other, CDA official sources revealed.

Where these faulty lights are hampering free movement of residents during night, it is also creating a sense of insecurity and allows criminal mafias to remain active at night. According to an official of CDA, the department concerned had allocated over Rs 180 million for installation of new and fixation of non-operational street lights during the fiscal year 2018-19 which could not be released to execute the project in time due to unknown reasons . He said every effort to get it released was made but the relevant department was told to move the file through the MCI. The MCI has flatly refused, saying it was not in a position to release the amount due to paucity of funds. He said at present only 40 per cent lights were functional while 60 per cent need to be repaired or replaced.

Though, the proposed amount was not enough to completely lighten the capital, however it would help rehabilitate over 50 per cent of the dysfunctional lights, he added. Meanwhile the residents have constantly been demanding timely repair of obsolete street lights, eventually forcing residents to stay at home due to lack of light and visibility. Badar Kiyani, a student from G-7 said many complaints had been lodged with the authorities concerned but the issue was still lingering due to undisclosed reasons. “People are afraid of going outside for their daily chores at night and it has made the public mobility restricted as increasing crime in the city was a matter of grave concern, especially at night”, he added. Another resident of G-8 Kazim Ali Shah informed some incidents of bike and mobile snatching had been witnessed in the past, apparently due to faulty street lights. It was also noted that the majority of the road lights along Daman-e-Koh are non-functional, posing a serious threat to the safety of the visitors and local residents.

More than half of the lights along the 9km hilly route, having many dangerous sharp curves, requires the Capital Development Authority’s (CDA) urgent attention for overhauling to ensure tourists’ and locals’ safety. Umar Khatak, a motorcyclist said that two wheelers were more prone to accidents as motorists coming from opposite side use high beams, creating more visibility problems due to darkness on the road.