Statues stay put as Pune grapples with traffic

Statues in public places are a undemanding formal procedure; ideals of leaders should be followed in life. But about 23 statues standing at chowks and street corners across the city have become major hurdles for smooth flow of traffic. . In 2008, the civic administration identified 23 statues for shifting. Some of them were Kakasaheb Gadgil, Vasantdada Patil’s statue at Abhinav Kala Vidyalaya, Kamgar statue at Shivajinagar, Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil’s statue at Volga chowk and Jamnalal Bajaj’s statue at Sarasbaug. The demand to shift statues from the junctions had gained momentum following the death of Atharva Dongare, a school student, in 2008. Activists and citizens had sought the immediate removal of Kakasaheb Gadgil’s statue from busy Shaniwarwada area as it restricts smooth traffic flow. However, it took four years for party leaders in the civic body to decide on Gadgil’s statue. Mayor Vaishali Bankar convened a meeting of all party leaders this week which concluded that Gadgil’s statue should be shifted. The fountain near Bajirao Peshwa’s equestrian statue will be demolished and Gadgil’s statue will stand at the spot. This is just one of the 23 statues that will move to a safer place. Party leaders have avoided any decision on the other 22 statues that cause bottlenecks. The plan has remained on paper. “As of now we have decided to relocate Kakasaheb Gadgil’s statue. Mayor Vaishali Bankar said that they have to take decision only after consultation with all party leaders and family members of the leaders whose statue needs relocation. activist Nitin Pawar said, Nobody bothers what happens to the statues once they are installed. The PMC and politicians routinely garland them on birth and death anniversaries. We agree that city’s traffic is worsening and it is the political and social responsibility of parties to join hands and take unanimous decisions. But no one is interested in resolving basic issues.

full_trafic jam saras bag


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