Festival over, and now pandal problem in Pune
It normally takes five minutes to pass through Shanipar Chowk to Mandai in Budhwar Peth by bus, but currently it takes a minimum of 20 to 45 minutes to negotiate this 100-metre stretch. Ganesh pandals are still up at most congested areas even two days after the immersion procession, and Puneites are being a difficult time as a result.
A bus ride from Kothrud depot to Camp area takes 45 minutes, but took a good twenty minutes more than usual today to get past the stretch. Shilpa Joshi who was travelling by bus said, “I got down from the bus, did my shopping and again boarded the same bus as I was sure it would not move for at least 10 to 15 minutes. This happened because a Ganapati pandal blocking the way.”
Senior citizen Ravikant Soman was on his way to see his doctor who has a practice in that area, but was late for his appointment. “The bus took one and half hour to reach camp from Kothurd. PMPML should not allow buses on these routes till all the pandals are removed,” he said.
Harshad Abhyankar, president, Save Traffic said, “There is no controlling authority for these mandals, which is why they are not serious about traffic issue and are still occupying maximum space on the roads. The traffic police don’t have the authority to take action. Pune Municipal Corporation should force these mandals to remove pandals as early as possible.”
Ramesh Shelar, head of PMC anti-encroachment department, said, “Mandals are expected to remove pandals in three to four days. Tomorrow our sleuths are going to conduct a drive and warn mandals who have not removed pandals.”