Roadside encroachments, terrible traffic, zero presence of police personnel and few street lights - Gurusar Sudhar, 28km from Ludhiana, is a perfect example of all that is wrong with rural towns in Punjab.
On entering the town, one is greeted with honking of recklessly driven buses and vehicles parked haphazardly outside shops, which have already encroached on roads. In the absence of a bus stand, passengers face a lot of inconvenience and buses can often be seen stopping on any part of the road, becoming a traffic hurdle.
Though the road in the town is a double-lane one, encroachments by shopkeepers and taxis parked haphazardly are a major problem. “In the absence of a bus stand, buses stop on the road due to which traffic gets affected. Even vehicles parked outside banks and other government offices are a major problem,” said Om Parkash, a resident.
A college girl, who did not wish to be named, said, “It gets difficult to travel in the absence of a bus stand. We are forced to stand on roads because of the encroachments. Eve-teasing in the town and in buses is common, but nobody pays attention.”
Rakesh Aggarwal, president of Shopkeepers' Welfare Association of Gurusar Sudhar, said, “We have asked shopkeepers in our area to remove the encroachments many times, but we are helpless. We have been facing many problems in the absence of a bus stand. Also, rarely do we see any police officials deployed here.”
Lack of streetlights increases the problems of commuters at night. Gurusar Sudhar comes under four village panchayats, including New Abaddi Akalgarh, Ghuman, Budhel and Sudhar. Commuters always remain in fix as to where they should submit their complaints.
Jarnail Singh, sarpanch of New Abaddi Akalgarh, said, “We don't have any common land for building a bus stand. We also lack funds for development. We have been demanding the government to declare the town a notified area committee by merging the panchayats.”
MLA from Raikot, the constituency under which Gurusar Sudhar falls, Gurcharan Singh Boparai said, “We need funds for development projects in the area, but the state government has not provided funds. I know people have demanded a bus stand in the town. Even I had demanded funds for the purpose, but to no avail. I will also ask the officials concerned to deloy police personnel in the town.”