Monday, October 27, 2008

Lift kara de!

Lift kara de!

Anyone visiting the Jayanagar RTO for a driving licence needs to have a strong pair of legs! In the absence of lifts, it’s a lung-straining task to traverse seven floors to get your work done

By Praveen Kumar
Posted On Monday, October 27, 2008

As if driving in a habitually traffic-gridlocked city is not enough to make you want to tear your hair, the pain is compounded for those seeking a driving licence — at least when it comes to the Jayanagar RTO office. A trip to the office, located on the third, fourth and seventh floors of the Jayanagar Shopping Complex, is a nightmarish experience, especially for senior citizens. And one shudders at the thought of what awaits physically challenged visitors.

Reason: the three lifts in the 25-year-old building are out-and-out basket cases — two of them dysfunctional for several years now and the third, which operates between the second and ninth floors of the complex, breaking down with sickening regularity.

Result: most visitors are so pooped after climbing the stairs that they need to rehydrate themselves with a glass of water before remembering what they came for!

On any given day, at least a thousand people visit the RTO and have to shuttle between different floors for their work — the third floor for driving licences, the fourth which houses the office of the Regional Transport Officer, and the seventh floor, where applicants have to get their photographs taken.

Typically, anyone wanting to get their work done here has to trudge up some 150 steps between floors before wearily wending their way down. Phew!

Besides, at least 250 persons everyday visit other government departments located in the complex like the Karnataka State Financial Corporation, the Karnataka State Women’s Development Corporation and the Minor Irrigation division.

It isn’t as if the RTO and the other government tenants are unaware of the public’s plight. But numerous complaints about the lifts to BBMP, which is the custodian of the building, have fallen on deaf ears.

The staircase railings are something else — unscientifically built and, to say the least, disabled-unfriendly. As a senior RTO official, with refreshing candour, told Bangalore Mirror, “Climbing up and down seven floors with broken railings is taxing for aged people and women.” He forgot to add: also very dangerous.

Most of the time, unsuspecting visitors spend several minutes waiting near the lifts till someone cares to enlighten them. Then, the arduous climb up begins. The situation has come to such a pass that four RTO staffers who are cardiac patients and have undergone bypass surgery call in sick if they find that even the sole supposedly functional lift has packed up. “And we are compelled on humanitarian grounds to grant them leave,” the official said.

Other RTO employees said they had petitioned for the office to be shifted to the ground floor of the complex to facilitate visitors.

There’s a positive side to this pathetic story, though. Our babus are not as bad as Lok Ayukta raids make them out to be! Well aware that physically challenged persons would find it well-nigh impossible to climb seven floors, officers are sent to the ground floor to attend to their requests, said one RTO official.


Post a Comment

<< Home