PMC’s Zero Stone monument in utter state of neglect
PUNE: Five months after the Pune Zero Mile Stone monument was inaugurated by Pune municipal commissioner Saurabh Rao, the civic body’s Dhole Road ward office has failed to maintain it leading to gross neglect.
It was on September 6, 2019 that the monument was inaugurated after the project was undertaken as an initiative by Arvind Shinde, senior Congress corporator as a part of his ward development work.
The civic body spent Rs 37.35 lakh for the project on restoring this monument said Shinde.
A visit to the monument on two days early this week revealed dirt and grime, pigeon poop on the installations, broken lights and damaged fixtures giving a clear indication that the beautifully created monument on the footpath is suffering gross neglect from the civic staff.
Installed outside the Pune Greater Post Office (GPO) by the British in 1873-74, the Zero Stone is one of the most important mile stones of the city, for it marks the point from where distances are measured between cities. It is, thus, the oldest mile stone of the city, not necessarily located in its oldest locality.
“The stone marks the exact geographic location of the city and it falls under the international system of units mapping,” said Sham Khamkar, deputy director of land records.
When it was inaugurated, Surveyor general of India, Lt Gen Girish Kumar, in a message had appreciated efforts to turn the monument into a tourist attraction.
Cleaning it daily, claims ward officer
Ward officer Dayanand Sonkamble, he said, “We have been daily cleaning and maintaining the footpath well, but since it is close to the oncoming traffic from Sadhu Vaswani Chowk, one can’t stop grime and dust from gathering over the seating arrangement or over the well-designed maps on the footpath. We also cannot stop beggars or miscreants from damaging the focus light holders or the wires relaying the electricity. We are aware of some loose connections and will work on getting it set again.”