Pune: RTI activist Vikas Bhambure had filed an RTI application on April 4 to know the number of illegal handcarts and stalls seized from February 14 to March 31 during the encroachment drive that Pune Cantonment Board (PCB) authorities conduct on daily basis in its jurisdiction.
According to Bhambure, he received wrong information from the authorities of Cantonment, because on the basis of his survey, he found 150 handcarts were seized while the Cantonment authorities provided data of seizure of only 39 handcarts.
Bhambure, in his RTI application, had asked, “How many handcarts and stalls were seized by the Cantonment Board during the encroachment drive? Are these handcarts and stalls crushed? If they are crushed, then is there any law regarding it? The seized stalls and handcarts are given back to their owners on ward members request. If they are given back, then how many of them are returned to their owners? Are these stalls and handcarts returned to their owners after taking fines from them?”
The information letter he received by the Cantonment read, “During February 15 to March 31, 39 unauthorised handcarts were confiscated from public places and roads, which were creating a public nuisance. These handcarts are kept in godown/ central store. Handcarts are not released on the recommendation of Cantonment Board members.”
Bhambure told Sakal Times, “I had clearly asked in the RTI application about the seizure of handcarts and stalls, but I received the data only about the handcarts and that too is wrong. Because according to a news article in a Marathi newspaper in March, during the encroachment drive, the authorities of PCB had seized 150 handcarts and stalls.”
DN Yadav, Chief Executive Officer of PCB, said, “Due to rising encroachments in cantonment limits, we have made our encroachment drives strict. The information received by the Cantonment authority on RTI application is correct, as we maintain our records.”