Thursday, June 20, 2024

Street lights at Golf Course: No one really bothers


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The State Govern ment’s claims that it is going to promote the State as a major tourist destination does not hold any water if the ground reality is anything to go by.

The Shillong Golf Course which is also popularly known as “Golflink’ among the local population and is one of the major tourist destinations in the State remains completely dark during the night hours.

Though the Government has been talking about improving infrastructures of tourist destinations located in the remote corners of the State but surprisingly it tends to neglect places like the Shillong Golf Course which is perhaps the only place left in Shillong where people can still go for a breath of fresh air.

Ironically, many of the prominent politicians and senior government officials drive down to the golf course every morning for a round of golf. But what these policy makers have overlooked so far is the complete darkness in the whole stretch of the road which leads to Golflink during the night hours.

There is a common opinion that if street lights are put up along the road leading to the Golflink, tourists and local people alike can visit the Shillong Golf Course even during night hours for rest and relaxation.

Residents of the area are of the opinion that installing street lights along the road leading to the Shillong Golf Course would not only add to the beauty of the place but would also help in building a sense of security among the people who walk along this road during the night hours.

It has been observed that for the past many years people especially women who are staying along the localities like Golflink, Pynthorumkhrah, Mawlai Mawroh, Lumshyiap and Langkyrding including Mawpat are reluctant to walk on foot to go to their homes since the road near the golf course is not considered safe.

Observers say that during the night hours vehicles with dark tinted glasses line up along the road side and the occupants indulge in all types of indecent acts. There are also cases of people being robbed by some unidentified miscreants along this road who take advantage of the darkness throughout the whole stretch of the road.

Strangely, even the Dorbar Shnong of the various localities near the golf course have turned a blind eye on the need of having street lights on this road.

It is learnt that during the early 90s the then Urban Affairs Minister and legislator James Marvin Pariat had installed street lights through the stretch of the road near the golf course.

But these street lights functioned only for a few months after which anti-social elements pelted stones and gradually destroyed these street lights. There has never been any attempt since then to repair these street lights.

Authorities have, over the years, tried to justify that street lights cannot be installed along this road due to the fear that anti-elements might destroy them again.

“But this is no justification. How can a few anti-social elements decide the fate of the huge majority of the people who would be benefitted if the lights are installed along this road,” said a person who travels on the road at night to reach his home. The fact is that these anti-elements would not want the street lights to come up since it would prevent them from carrying out their nefarious acts,” he said, while adding that the authorities should come up with a plan so that the street lights are installed and subsequently protected from being destroyed by the anti-social elements.

Local residents have also urged the local administration and the local legislator AL Hek to wake up to their needs and install street lights in the area so that the cover of darkness might be removed once and for all.


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