For the past two years, 65-year-old Vyankat Genba Gaikwad has been coming to the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) office on Lokshahi Din (Democracy Day), an open hearing of grievances, with a written complaint stating that hasn't been compensated by the civic body for his loss of land due to road widening.
But, with no one at the civic office acknowledging his complaint, Mr Gaikwad decided to try something different to get the authority's attention. Yesterday afternoon, he wrote his grievances with a pen on his kurta-pyjama and went to the PMC office, Shivaji Nagar. However, a security guard stopped him from entering the premises stating that he will only be allowed to enter if he changed his clothes.
Mr Gaikwad criticised the PMC security officer and left the building. "I have been coming every month for the past two years, but nobody pays any attention to my complaint. Writing an application on my clothes was a good idea, and I thought at least they would now acknowledge me," said Mr Gaikwad.
"But this is outrageous and insulting to me," he added. In the application written on his clothes, Mr Gaikwad stated that his coal depot at Patil Estate slum was taken down in the road-widening project, and that also his property worth Rs 5.50 lakh was confiscated.
He was not given any compensation or an alternative place to start a new depot. "The other shops in the slums were given alternate places, but only I was left out. I have a shop licence and other relevant documents. Earlier, on the same issue I had also met officials from PMC's land and estate department, at Ghole Road ward office and slum rehabilitation department seeking justice, but to no avail," said Mr Gaikwad.
The other side
When contacted, Santosh Pawar, chief security officer, PMC Main Building, agreed that his security guard had acted tenacious in stopping Mr Gaikwad.
"I will enquire about the incident. Every citizen should be allowed to enter the PMC building. This will not happen anymore" he said. "I regret this incident and will let Mr Gaikwad enter during the next Lokshahi Din at the PMC building," he added.