On 30th September 2008, Sahakara Bhavan, a government building got an elevator through an RTI application. This despite the fact that a provision for two lifts was made for this building at the time of its construction in 1975. But the provision remained on paper.
Sahakara Bhavan is a multi-storeyed building on Cunningham Road housing several government offices. The building has offices of Coir Board, Karnataka State Co-operative Market Federation(KSCF), Press Information Bureau, Bangalore Urban Additional District Consumer Disputes Forum and Karnataka State Consumer Redressal Forum.
S N Subramanya, an RTI and Consumer Rights activist and a senior citizen visits Sahakara Bhavan frequently to attend consumer court hearings. He describes that there was an empty space in place of one elevator and the second elevator was out-of order most days. He and all the other officers who work in this building had to climb upto eight floors despite the provision for two elevators. "Senior citizens and physically challenged people were more troubled," he adds.
Pained by this Subramanya on 20th April 2007 filed an RTI application to B R Jayaramaraja, PIO and Managing Director of KSCF to know the provision for elevators for this building. He never got a reply to this. So he escalated it to the Karnataka Information Commission.
For this he received a reply on 3rd March 2008. The reply said that the concerned building had a provision for two lifts. "This was a clear case of corruption because the elevator was never created and the money for its construction was already sanctioned. And citizens had to suffer because of this," adds Subramanya. The KIC also ordered the government of Karnataka that the elevators should be constructed by 30th September 2008.
"I am happy I was able to make a difference in the lives of these people, even if it was at a minuscule level," concludes Subramanya. ⊕
Just the other day, my friends and I were discussing how our railway stations need lifts. I can’t imagine how senior citizens/ handicapped/ disabled people would climb the hundred odd steps between platforms. You have any suggestions how one would go forward to make a request such as this to the government?