To avoid encroachment on city roads and footpaths adding to inconvenience to citizens, city-based NGOs have urged the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) administration to strictly implement ban of pandals on roads and footpaths.
“The Ganesh festival is approaching and there will be demand for space to set up stalls for sale of Ganesh idols and also for erection of Ganesh pandals. Every year it is seen that several Ganesh idol stalls are installed on footpaths. This blocks passage for pedestrians,” said Jugal Rathi of Pune Cycle Pratishthan and Prashant Inamdar of Pedestrians First.
They said the roadsides also get occupied by customers standing in front of the stalls and their haphazardly parked vehicles.
Hence pedestrians can neither use the footpath nor even the roadside space and are forced to walk on the carriageway of the road at a risk to life.
This also aggravates traffic congestion on the busy roads. Similarly, stalls are also erected on cycle tracks which then cause inconvenience for cyclists.
“Regarding Ganesh pandals, we understand that the norm is that pandals should occupy maximum of one third of the road width. However it is seen that the Ganesh pandals are erected in such a way that they are partly on road and partly on footpath. This totally blocks passage for pedestrians and also the road side space. People crowding in the vicinity of the pandals further aggravate the situation for pedestrians,” they said adding that in case pandals are to be allowed on roads, the condition should be that they should occupy one third of the carraige way width leaving the footpath and cycle track untouched and free for pedestrians.