President’s entourage travels by bus in Pune

July 6th, 2008 - 12:12 am ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

Pune, July 5 (IANS) In a bid to ease congestion on Pune’s already overcrowded roads, two dozen officials accompanying President Pratibha Patil on her visit here travelled by bus to a function instead of riding in individual cars. “The president is very conscious about not inconveniencing the public or causing traffic snarls. So we decided to travel by bus. This reduced the number of vehicles (in the president’s cavalcade) by at least eight,” said a member of the president’s entourage.

The officials travelled in an air-conditioned Volvo bus to the Saturday evening felicitation organised by the Pune Municipal Corporation at the Bal Gandharva Rang Manch here, where Patil was accorded a warm welcome on her maiden visit to the city after assuming office.

“Mumbai may be the financial capital of the country, but Pune continues to be the cultural capital of Maharashtra,” said Patil, who wore a white saree with a red border.

“Pune is known for its rich Maharashtrian culture, literature and social movements. The city has played a very important role in the country’s freedom struggle,” she added.

“The city has now moved from being a pensioner’s paradise to an industrial and business centre,” Patil pointed out.

She also complimented the city’s institutions for their women’s empowerment and educational initiatives.

Maharashtra Governor S.C. Jamir, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, Water Resource Minister Ajit Pawar, Pune’s Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi, former chief minister Manohar Joshi and Patil’s husband Devi Singh Shekhawat were among those present at the function.

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