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Why citizen facility centres by the Pune Municipal Corporation are citizen unfriendly

Monday, 23 June 2014 - 8:43am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

  • citizen-facility-center-pune-kiosk Clockwise: Mitramandal Chowk Kiosk, S B Road kiosk, Cob webs inside J M road Kiosk & the lock on Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha Kiosk Pratham Gokhale, Snehil Sakhare, Ishaan Wasu dna

In order to promote citizen-friendly initiatives, the Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) is planning to start 16 citizen facilitation centres where the residents can pay bills, besides applying for certificates such as that for construction as well as birth and death. The Pune Municipal Corporation, however, already has some 68 centres listed on its website that provide similar facilities. On the backdrop of PCMC's decision, Team dna decided to visit five citizen facilitation centers in the PMC limit to see how helpful these centres actually are.

PMC's website link http://www.punecorporation.org/pmcwebn/kiosk_loc.aspx

Near Symbiosis College, Senapati Bapat Road
A kiosk which is located in one of the busiest streets of Pune was shut when we visited it at 12:30p.m. To our surprise, it was built on an elevated platform of about 2ft, with no steps. There were posters all over the glass surface, making it clear that the centre had been unattended for months. The glass door was locked. Through the door, we could see the kiosk machine, which looked defunct, and a few chairs laying around. However, the fan inside was left on. There were shattered pieces of glass on the footpath just below the kiosk. There was no guard, no board or telephone number to indicate when or how one can contact an official.

Yashwant Rao Natyagruh, Karve Road, Kothrud
The moment we reached Yashwant Rao Natyagruh, we immediately spotted the kiosk with a big lock hanging on its door. On peeping through the glass, we spotted a table in the centre with few half filled water bottles and sheets of papers. We also spotted plugs and lose wires lying below the table. There was an AC that looked unused but the switches below the air conditioner on the board were on. We tried asking around to know more about the time when the kiosk is functional but got no information.

Sambhaji Park Gate, J.M. Road
Despite being on a busy road of the city, the center was shut. The machine was switched off and an ATM machine next to it has a broken keyboard and cut wires. A telephone and few newspapers were lying on the table. The kiosk was divided into two sections: One for online billing and the other one for booking flight and train tickets. On a minute inspection, we spotted spider webs, confirming that the kiosk has been shut for a very long time. For parking, one has to park inside Shambhaji Park and will have to walk his way to the kiosk as the area in front of the kiosk is used by hawkers.
Near Gold Add Lab, Koregaon Park Bridge, Kalyani Nagar
After reaching there, we saw that the office was shut and the glass door was locked. On peeping inside, we saw that the table in the office was broken and the chairs were kept in an unorganiwed manner. At the door, however, all the facilities that the kiosk provides were clearly mentioned. No number was mentioned where one could call to check the timings of the kiosk.

Mitra Mandal Chowk, Sahakarnagar
Carton boxes and broken CPUs were kept inside the locked kiosk. It seemed that it wasn't manned though on asking a security guard at the adjacent ATM kiosk, he informed us that someone comes around noon and again at 5p.m. every day. We saw that the screen of the machine was broken. Apart from this, we also spotted a table kept besides the machine, along with a few chairs kept here and there. We again went there the next day to check if anyone comes there at 12 or not and found a person locking the door. On asking him what he was doing, he seemed annoyed and asked us what we wanted. Even after telling him that we wanted to pay the bills, he continued locking the kiosk and informed us that it was Saturday and no bills are accepted on that day. Before leaving, he also added that the printer was not working so find another place to pay the bills.

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