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PCMC turns blind eye towards disabled worker's problems

Even as his neighbours cheered the initiation of a BRTS corridor on Aundh-Ravet Road, 50-year-old Sanjay Ovhal had a harrowing time negotiating the stretch to reach his office a kilometre away. After he requested the civic body to relocate him to its nearby centre in Tehrgaon, he recently learnt that he had been transferred to Panjarpol, 20 km from his home

Pune: A potential boon for most daily commuters, the Bus Rapid Transit System strip coming up on Aundh-Ravet Road has become a bane for Sanjay Ovhal. The visually impaired Kaspetwasti resident works as a peon in Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s D-ward administrative office, which is about a kilometre away from his home. Since 2010, when work on the BRTS corridor began in the area, Ovhal has been facing problems while crossing this main highway road to reach his office.

at a crossroads: Since January 20, Ovhal has been on medical leave and hasn’t yet collected the transfer order. . Pic/Navnath Kaple
At a crossroads: Since January 20, Ovhal has been on medical leave and hasn’t yet collected the transfer order . Pic/Navnath Kaple

Now that barricades have come up near his workplace, the 50-year-old has to take a long detour. He had complained on PCMC’s SAARTHI helpline service in December 2013, requesting for a pedestrian crossing facility for disabled people and senior citizens in front of his office. “I am having a very tough time since the BRTS corridor started coming up on the main road before my office. There is no way to cross the road and I have to go to the next chowk to get into my office,” said Ovhal.

Stopped in tracks: Now that barricades for BRTS have come up near his workplace, the 50-year-old has to take a long detour to reach the PCMC D-ward administrative office. PIC/NAVANATH KAPLE
Stopped in tracks: Now that barricades for BRTS have come up near his workplace, the 50-year-old has to take a long detour to reach the PCMC D-ward administrative office. Pic/Navanath Kaple

“I have to daily take an auto rickshaw for going to my office, and I am spending around Rs 4,000 on transportation this way every month. Earlier, it was much simpler for me to just walk to and from my office. So, in December 2013, I narrated my grievances on the SAARTHI helpline, and requested for a pedestrian crossing facility in front of our office,” he added.

The D-ward administrative office of PCMC is surrounded by other important agencies, like office of MSEB and a fire station. So, there is a constant rush of people in the area, and a zebra crossing seems to be the need of the hour.

Recalling the episode involving his request for transfer, Ovhal told MiD DAY, “When the situation became unbearable and unaffordable for me, I twice sent an application for a transfer to the PCMC office in Thergaon.

Till now it has not been accepted. But, on the other hand, I have got a transfer order for PCMC’s new E-ward administrative office at Panjarpol in Bhosari area, which is almost 20 km from my home. Also, there is no bus service from here to that place. PCMC administration should seriously consider my predicament, as my vision is completely impaired and I cannot go to work so far every day,” Since January 20, Ovhal has been on medical leave and has not yet collected the transfer order from the office.

“My only demand to PCMC administration is that if possible they should give me a transfer to Thergaon office, where I will not have to cross or pass by any BRTS corridor. If they cannot do this, I should not be transferred from my current office, and I will somehow manage the commute. But, do not transfer me so far, which would make things harder for me,” he lamented.

Civic body reacts

When contacted, PCMC commissioner Shrikar Pardeshi said, “This is an internal matter and I need to find out the facts. Only after that can I say anything and take necessary action on this issue.”

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