Graffiti defaces Metro pillars, lack of CCTV cameras hits hunt for culprits | Pune News

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PUNE: MahaMetro authorities are in a fix over the return of wall graffiti on the columns of the upcoming mass rapid transit system along Raja Bahadur Mill Road near the regional transport office.
Earlier, MahaMetro authorities had removed flexes and boards related to events, political posters and banners of birthday wishes put up on the columns by unidentified people at night. Despite multiple complaints, neither the Metro authorities nor the police could track the culprits as most of the stretch lacks CCTV surveillance.
On Tuesday, Pune Metro officials spotted such graffiti on one of the pillars next to the regional transport office (RTO) along Raja Bahadur Mill Road. “This is one of the many defacements that Mahametro authorities have reported since the pillars have come up. Across the city, Metro pillars are defaced with graffiti, paintings, event and political posters, flexes and stickers,” an official said.
Hemant R Sonawane, MahaMetro general manager (public relations), said, “We lodged over eight complaints with the police in the past one year. We also keep telling them about such incidents. In most cases, we tell the people concerned, event organisers and the political parties to remove such material.”
He said, “Our cameras are placed on the station premises. As a result, we are not able to trace the culprits. Most of these activities happen at night. People come in groups, paste the poster or paint the graffiti and run away. It is a difficult task to track them.”
Sonawane said, “Mahametro usually gives contracts for the entire painting or beautification projects. But in case of such petty work, it costs us much more because the manpower and machinery need to be mobilized.”
Citizens are equally miffed with such actions by a section of people. ” On one hand, the civic body is spending a huge amount of money on beautification work. It’s every citizen’s responsibility to maintain the city’s beauty,” Warje resident Vishal Choudhari said.
Sinhagad Road resident Sachin Mhasawade said, “A few days ago, I saw some graffiti on Metro pillar along the riverside road. It’s quite an eyesore. MahaMetro should take actions against people indulging in such acts.”

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