Saturday, April 18, 2009

Need only 180 days to change Pune: Bokey

11 Apr 2009, 0317 hrs IST, TNN

PUNE: Vikram Bokey, the Pune Vikas Party candidate, said that rehabilitation of hutments, disciplined and safe Pune and better public transport is on top of his agenda. Bokey said that he will need only 180 days to change Pune.

Speaking to TOI on Friday, Bokey said, "I believe that those living in hutments are also human beings and they deserve a better living place. They should get homes with atleast 450 sq ft carpet area. And it is a big issue that I want to solve. Transportation is another issue that needs to be solved immediately. The city needs atleast 2,000 buses, but unfortunately only about 600 buses are plying in the city."

The former IPS officer, during the inauguration of his party office, said that if given a chance, he will transform the city in 180 days. Bokey said, "As the (Zone 1) DCP, I had ensured that discipline was maintained in the city in just three weeks. Also, I was instrumental in reducing crime on the Pune-Mumbai expressway in a span of just three days. I have my own ways and when I say 180 days, I mean it."

Bokey, who was also the city unit chief of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, said that the city youth will play a key role in this election. "I think a lot will depend on them this time as I have observed that every youngster is determined to vote and choose the best leader. The 26/11 incident in Mumbai has really shaken them."

Bokey said that a national party had offered him a ticket from Pune in January and he was prepared for it, but it didn't materialise. "I was mentally prepared as my candidature for that party was almost fixed. Then my close supporters encouraged me when I took the decision to fight the elections as an independent. Hence, I have decided to throw my hat in the ring and I believe there is always an outside chance."


When the cases of farmers' suicide rapidly increased in the state, IPS officer Vikram Bokey, who comes from an agricultural background, took voluntary retirement as he thought that the issue was a far bigger problem that the nation was facing.

As the superintendent of police (Pune rural), he is credited with ensuring that peace prevailed in the city, while communal riots were occurring in other parts of the country due to the Babri Masjid demolition. He was also instrumental in abolishing gambling and bootlegging that thrived in various parts of the city.

He was appointed as officer on special duty for the Pune-Mumbai Expressway in 2002. In the expressway, sometimes commuters were manhandled and looted which created panic in the minds of e-way users, particularly in the night. In a short span of time, Bokey played a key role in reducing crime on the highway.

Bokey, who originally hails from Amravati, is known as Amitabh Bachchan in Pandharpur as he had shielded a frail old lady with his own body during a stampede. Thus saving her life.

After his took voluntary retirement, he founded the Maharashtra Organic Farming Federation (MOFF) in 2004, a non-governmental organisation that promotes organic farming.

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