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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Grounds off limits for rallies in Thane, roads are next option

mumbai Updated: Oct 11, 2019 00:46 IST


Thane residents will have to brace for traffic congestion in the next two weeks as big political rallies have been lined up in the city.

Most playgrounds in the city, fall under silent zones, the roads in the city are the venue for political rallies. Traffic police have decided to give the road outside Thane Municipal Corporation headquarters and the one along Masunda lake for rallies.

The 90 Feet road in Kalwa is also a popular choice. However, political parties said the permission to use these roads for rallies are yet to be given.

Assembly elections are merely two weeks away and with the popular Central Maidan and Gaondevi ground off limits for rallies, parties are looking at all options. Moreover, giving away roads for rallies will also burden the traffic police.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis will hold the first rally in the city on Friday on General Arun Kumar Vaidya Marg in Panchpakhadi.

An official from Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) said, “As of now, we have merely got one application for the CM’s rally in Panchpakhadi. Political parties can demand one-window clearance to get permission for rallies and road shows. Grounds which are in silence zone are off limits for rallies. Political parties can opt for private grounds in Vartak Nagar or Ghodbunder areas. But, they are far from the station. Most parties prefer areas near the railway station.”

For the past few years, the Gaondevi ground and the Central Maidan, two of the most popular grounds for political rallies have been declared silence zones and the court has stopped holding rallies on these grounds. Moreover, the court has also not permitted to conduct rallies or public meetings by obstructing the roads or junctions.

Naresh Mhaske, Sena corporator and leader of TMC house, said, “The time for campaigning is already less and moreover the grounds are off limit for rallies. It is a huge question before us where to conduct the rallies. The police are also not giving permissions easily to conduct rally on the road of our choice. We will have no choice but to conduct rallies on road.”

The traffic police said they will allow rallies only on roads where diversions are available.

Amit Kale, deputy commissioner of police (traffic), said, “We have chosen only those roads where diversions are possible. The road along Masunda lake and TMC office can be given by providing diversions. We will deploy extra police personnel on the roads surrounding the area to ensure traffic is managed effectively.”

The political parties are not keen to hold rallies on roads. Apart from the BJP, none of them has applied for permission for rallies anywhere in the city. The TMC official added, “In Thane city, we have received only one application from the BJP. However, no application has been received from Ovala Majiwada or Kopri-Panchpakhadi constituency.”

First Published: Oct 11, 2019 00:46 IST

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