Protests create traffic jams, but barricades don’t?


Protests were dismissed at the old collector’s door for traffic problems, were dismissed; but a large space outside the new gate is blocked off by official barricades. Angry activists

In its zeal to avoid protests around a government building by citing grunts from traffic, the district administration has put up barricades to keep people away – and these are now causing the same traffic jams they claimed. try to prevent!

Agitation and protests are part of a healthy democracy, but most authorities are loath to allow the same on their premises to avoid chaos. As a result, most of these gatherings are found near the main door of an establishment or on designated land.

In this regard, the Pune district tax collector had issued a prohibition order, asking a group of protesters not to lead their agitation to the tax collector’s main entrance gate, from which he and other officials enter. . It has been claimed that such gatherings cause traffic jams on the main road due to overcrowding. Subsequently, land some 150 yards to the rear of the collector on Church Road, known as’morcha maidan ‘, has been assigned to such protests.

The police set up barricades in front of the numerous administrative offices; PIC: MANOJ BIDKAR

Today, however, education activists pointed out to the Minister for Careers and the District Collector that this move is clearly undemocratic. They further claimed that the original order was for the old collector’s building, whose main entrance was directed towards Dr Ambedkar Udyan from the busy Sassoon Street. Currently, the main gate is towards the road on the west side that leads to the Sassoon neighborhoods – which is blocked by authorities by deploying barricades to prevent protests. Ironically, these barricades also create traffic jams, taking up more space than restless people would have.

Activists mentioned in 2018 short Supreme judgment revoking the ban on demonstrating nearby Jantar-Mantar in New Delhi. The said ordinance states categorically that no general ban on a democratic demonstration can be imposed permanently.

Mukund Kirdat, coordinator of the Parents Association of Pune, said: “We have sought information within the framework of the Right to information (RTI) Take action about this collector move and only found one old communication from 2015 that mentions traffic jams near the gate towards Dr Ambedkar Udyan. He added that the ground far from the building is an unnecessary place for commotion.

Activist Satish Yadav agreed: “A demonstration should be organized where the senior officials hear us. Morcha maidan is far away and relegated to the rear part of the building.

If smooth traffic is a problem, why use these barricades? Licensed activist Akash Muniyan: “It’s just an attempt to control the voice of the audience. The neighboring Bund Garden police are perfectly capable of handling any crowd.

The district administration receives over 1,000 letters every year requesting permission for demonstrations such as rallies, hunger strikes and dharnas. Every day, three-four demonstrations take place in front of the gates.

District collector Rajesh deshmukh could not be contacted for comment on the matter, but a senior administrative official said on condition of anonymity: “The space near the main gate belongs to the Bund Garden police station. The PS is about to relocate to another location and the space will be acquired for the proposed road widening. ”

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