iconimg Saturday, May 23, 2015

Avninder Kaur, Hindustan Times
Amritsar, September 18, 2013
Widening streets and roads to ease traffic, the municipal corporation might be put in a tight spot by encroachment. The logjams have got on the nerves of common man. The few footpaths near the bus stand and railway station have gone to paanwalas, rehriwalas, cobblers, hairdressers and beggars. Automobile vendors and service guys have invaded the street from the railway station to Queens's Road.

In the walled city, a tourist destination, encroachment has narrowed the 6-to-10-foot wide lanes further. With shopkeepers extending their stalls, it's a challenge for even two-wheelers to get through. The road neck has turned into a shopping lane, with fruit and vegetable vendors eating up the footpaths.

The national highway, which gets the maximum of all traffic in Amritsar, is lined with truck and tractor-trailers laden with construction raw material, from the 100-foot road to Jahajgarh. Heavy vehicle repair workshops have grabbed the remaining part.

Queens Road, Railway Station Road, Ram Bagh, Chatiwind road and all major markets of city mainly Katra Jaimal Singh, Hall Bazar, Putli Ghar, Atta Mandi, Pink Plaza are in a chaotic condition with public space been taken up by showrooms, eating points, carts and vendors. The roads broad enough to let traffic flow easily have shrunken to half the size due to encroachment.

Many locals and visitors also contribute their fair share by parking their vehicles many a times in middle of the road. This goes on in every nook, in every corner.

MC taking no notice of it, the road space is being used for individual benefits without caring for the troubles of commuters. With many city buildings already been laid down and tens declared to be deconstructed soon with the motive of broadening roads, still remains doubt if Amritsar Traffic problems will have a way out swiping the encroaches.
 
Speak out

The whole city is encroached. No part is spared. It's before the eyes of MC. Nothing is hidden" - Naresh Johar, a city based writer

"MC is behaving like three monkeys of Mahatma Gandhi. Commissioner needs to take a round of city to see how common man suffers." -Brij Bedi, social worker

"The roads are already running short of space to allow the traffic flow. Now even walking is not safe as vehicles and you are on same road and can conflict." -Sanjana Chopra, Citizen

This strange to see vehicles parked near golden temple as the area is provided with so many parking lots. Only strict law enforcement can bring change". - Harmeet Singh, local resident