Even as the UT administration has pledged to make the City Beautiful disabled-friendly, the polling during the municipal corporation elections on Sunday presented a contrasting picture.
Even if wheelchairs were made available at some polling booths, proper ramps were not set up. In most southern sectors and colonies, there was no arrangement of wheelchairs.
It was a struggle for both physically challenged and senior citizens to cast their vote.
Milkha Singh, the brand ambassador for the MC polls, came in a golf cart at the Sector 8 polling station, while some senior citizens used their own wheelchairs. Most, however, had to wait for a wheelchair or trudge to the booth in its absence.
Ninety-one-year-old TN Ranjan, a retired bureaucrat residing in Sector 21, said, “I had to wait for a wheelchair. There was just one available at the polling booth.”
Attawa resident Rajesh, who is partially disabled and works as a vendor, said: “I came on my wheelchair but had to leave it outside the Sector-42 polling booth in the absence of a ramp.”
Poor arrangements, however, failed to dampen the spirits of voters. Former Punjab chief secretary KD Vasudeva, who came to vote at the Sector 10 polling booth, said: “ I have come to vote as it is our right. We should set an example for youngsters.” Advocate Jasbir Singh Chand, another senior citizen, said: “I have never left the chance to vote and will keep voting.”
The UT administration, after the audit by the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment, had prepared a budget of Rs 8.34 crore for carrying changes in government buildings, including educational institutes, to make these disabled-friendly.