Onlookers may have been curious as consumer activist Vilas Lele went around surveying drainage lids in the city to check their alignment with the road. To some it may have appeared a futile exercise. Yet, Lele’s mission of personally surveying 2,000 drainage lids resulted in a detailed study that formed the basis of a memorandum submitted to municipal commissioner Mahesh Pathak.
Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat submitted a memorandum to Pathak and group leaders of all parties after the survey of 2,000 drainage lids across the city. It states that almost all drainage lids in the city are unsafe for pedestrians and vehicular traffic as none of the drainage lids are in line with the roads.
Co-organiser of the Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat, Lele himself has surveyed the drainage lids and photographed around 2,000 drainage lids that are either above or below the road level, becoming dangerous for the traffic and the pedestrians.
Lele attended the Lokshahi Din this week and raised the issue there. After Pathak tried to avoid the matter by saying it was a social issue, Lele told him it was the responsibility of the PMC and the elected representatives to ensure a safe journey on roads for Puneites.
Lele has compiled a compact disc (CD) of 300 selected photographs of dangerous drainage lids and handed over copies to Pathak, the head of department of roads, standing committee chairman Vishal Tambe and group leaders of all parties including Subhash Jagtap of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Ashok Harnawal of the Shiv Sena and Ashok Yenpure of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
The activist has demanded that the elected representatives at least ensure that the drainage lids in their wards are safe. He said the iron meshes of the lids are broken and are in a dangerous condition at many places. Since the concrete lids are broken, the iron ring in the lid has come out on the road, making the road width shorter by three to four feet on either side. This makes it difficult to park two-wheelers, causing inconvenience for parking and more problems for the traffic.
Lele said he was expecting a public explanation by all the leaders and the PMC administration on the condition of drainage lids. He expected the CD would be used to improve the condition of drainages to align them with the roads.