After a wait of at least two decades, a group of visually-impaired persons led by Anil Khurana has won half the battle for a residential accommodation at a plot which was sanctioned to the Poona Blind Men’s Association (PBMA) in Hadapsar.
Anil Khurana had alleged that two hectares in Sector 93/2 in Mauje Mohammadwadi had been awarded to the PBMA for a primary health centre and a residential home for the blind, but the plot housed a hospital only.
The local administration has agreed that the land which was sanctioned for a primary health centre and a residential home for the blind, did not have the latter. “According to the details shared by both the parties and the report submitted by the sub divisional officer, there has been a violation of land use as there is no residential home in the plot as planned when the land was allotted. We have forwarded the matter to the state government through the Pune divisional commissioner. The government will hear both the parties again and if there has been a violation, necessary action will be initiated,’’ said Pune district collector Saurabh Rao.
The order comes 24 years after the plot was sanctioned to the PBMA. Khurana, the applicant in the case, and his colleague Ramchandra Rangolle feel that justice has prevailed at last. “There is a ray of hope in this order. We hope the government gives us a proper hearing,” said Rangolle.
Before passing the order, the administration checked into the details of the case, including whether there was any violation of land use, if the land was being used for the purposes it was allotted for, whether the existing construction on the land violated any building permission rules, whether the hospital on the plot was being used for commercial purposes and whether the due permissions were taken for its operation.
The order has stated that the hospital was constructed in 2004 and has conducted various kind of eye operations for the poor. The hospital is also registered with the charity commissioner, according to the details provided by the circle officer.
PMBA president NP Pandya said, “We are doing charitable work and have conducted free cataract operations as well as check-ups. We are also providing for the patients’ and relatives’ stay in the area. We have been doing social work for the visually impaired for many years and our work should be assessed before making such allegations. Moreover, I do not believe that the blind should be segregated in a colony. They should be part of the society,’’ he said.
However, Khurana is happy that they have been heard. “We are hoping that the revenue department rules in our favour. There are many visually impaired persons deprived of homes. It is the need of the hour to have a residential home for them,’’ he said.