PUNE: The Traffic Department has directed Ganesh mandals in Kothrud area to set up their pandals using less space to facilitate smooth vehicular movement during Ganeshotsav. All mandals have agreed to comply with the directive.
The mandals in Kothrud set up roadside pandals and are aware that half the road width has been used for construction of Metro railway. If pandals occupy some of the remaining space, there will be severe traffic issues. Rajendra Pathak, President of Omkar Mitra Mandal, Kothrud, said, “Every year, we have a 15X15 ft pandal but this year, as per the instructions by the Traffic Department, we will shrink the pandal size. It will be less than 10x10 ft.”
Ashok Mane, former president of Jaideep Mitra Mandal, Kothrud, said, “We have yet not got the NOC from the traffic department. Even after getting it, we will erect the pandal in less space due to the MahaMetro work being carried out in Kothrud area. There is a decrease of 30 per cent in terms of vargani (donations) collection from commercial complexes for pandal work.”
Santosh Mohite, treasurer of Dasbhuja Mitra Mandal said, “We have cancelled most of our decoration such as lighting or PoP. So, the budget is low this year. Also, we are not sure if the Traffic Department will give permission or not due to the metro work in our area. Also, we would start erecting the pandal days before the Ganpati festival.”
Sagar Tangade, Secretary of Swatantra Mitra Mandal, said, “Every year, the size of our pandal is 20x20 ft. This year, the pandal will be 10x15 ft, which will be erected on the premises of the mandal office. The Traffic Department has instructed us to use as less space as possible.”
DCP (Traffic) Tejasvi Satpute said, “We have held meetings with Ganpati mandals in Kothrud to make them understand the condition of traffic. We have asked them to set up pandals using less space. They are co-operating with us. Most of the mandals will erect pandals a couple of days before the festival.”