After its magnificent makeover two years ago, Hazratganj seems to be slowly getting back to its untidy and neglected state due to the apathy of citizens and enforcement agencies.
The signboards - not in conformation with the uniform code -- have started reappearing on several shops, the embellished fountains have lost their sparkle, many larger-than-life Victorian lampposts are defunct and the payments meant for pedestrians encroached. Clearly, this was not the idea behind restoring the glory of Ganj on completion of its 200 years in 2010.
“It looked beautiful when it was beautified couple of years ago. Now, it is back to square one. No one seems to be caring about it,” lamented Ashutosh, 25, a student.
More often than not one tends to blame the government machinery. But here citizens are equally responsible. Though one cannot deny that there is total lack of enforcement from the civic bodies as far as removing encroachments and cleaning pathways is concerned, shopkeepers are clearly bending the rules.
“There are many outlets like the ‘Mastermind Coaching Centre’ that have started displaying more than one signboards on the building. After renovation, it was decided that shops would follow a uniform colour code for signages which is being violated,” said a trader.
Besides, many shopkeepers have also changed the colours of lamps outside their outlets and put up advertisement boards -- yet another violation of the norms set for a beautified Ganj. However, a group of conscious traders from the market have approached district authorities to check these violations.
As things stand, the lanes conceptualised for leisurely strolls once again have been encroached. Paan stains on walls and scattered garbage are a common sight. Despite the best of parking facilities in place, vehicles continue to be parked on the main road leading to incessant traffic jams. “It has come to our notice. We would do something about it,” said Sanjiv Saran, divisional commissioner.
In 2010, when Hazratganj’s facelift was mooted on completion of 200 years, no one was ready to believe that Lucknow’s main shopping street would actually get a makeover. And the boulevard had a metamorphosis of sorts. But if the market’s existing deterioration is not attended to immediately, the makeover may soon vanish!