With political parties raising the issue of non-availability of locations for public rallies given the strict police restrictions in place, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has geared up to resolve the matter by using open plots across the city for the purpose. This is being done so as not to inconvenience public.
“In the previous elections, 64 locations were finalised in consultation with the city police for political parties to hold rallies. The PMC had also fixed rates for renting out the grounds,” said Deputy Municipal Commissioner Madhav Jagtap.
PMC had undertaken a survey in 2009 and identified open plots that could be made available for political parties for rallies, he said, adding that the civic administration would now undertake a fresh survey to ascertain whether the plots have been developed for civic facilities. If they are in use, then they will be dropped from the existing list of locations, he said.
“PMC initiative had a received good response in the last election,” Jagtap said.
Of the listed locations, the riverbed at Deccan and the ground near Raja bungalow at Vishrantwadi are the only places that have the capacity of 40,000 people for a rally. They are followed by SSPMS ground and the ground close to Zensar company near the airport, which have a capacity of 25,000 people.
As per the list, the Market Yard cattle market and Chandralok garden in Warje can accommodate 12,000 persons, while all other plots have less capacity.
The civic body has also acquired more plots and new amenity spaces in the past few years, Jagtap said. “The open amenity places would be made available for rallies depending on the access route and parking place.”
In the past, the PMC had offered civic school grounds for public rallies if they were held on holidays.