From drain covers to taps, petty thieves want it all
NEWDELHI: Last October, a newly built water fountain near the Ambedkar Bhawan in Jhandewalan was all set to be inaugurated. There was a function planned, guests were on their way. But, hours before the function, officials realised the fountain wasn’t working — someone had stolen all 40 water nozzles.
From signage to iron railings, drain covers to telephone cables and taps in public restrooms — Delhi’s thieves often make away with the most common items around us that disrupt life, cause chaos, and lead to embarrassment for authorities in the national capital.
According to the civic agency records, of the 6,000 signboards in the NDMC area, at least 100 were stolen last year. “The signboards are made of stainless steel — they will hardly fetch about ₹50 or ₹100 in the market, but they are stolen anyway. On the other hand, imagine the problem a person has to face if there are no signboards at the roundabouts,” said a New Delhi Municipal Council officer asking not to be named.
Road-owning agencies say that they often do not report every theft to the police because it is a common occurrence, and the stolen items are not very costly. For 20 years until 2018, the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi’s statue at Mother Teresa Crescent in New Delhi remained without spectacles because they kept getting stolen.
GOING, GOING, GONE
Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in Chanakyapuri was without spectacles for over 18 years after they were stolen