Two days before Diwali, encroachments are ruling the city with the municipal corporation failing to take action against violators. The city’s popular sweet shop, Gopal Sweets, has covered the main road near Leela Bhavan Chowk by erecting a tent, impeding traffic flow. MC officials and the traffic police have been acting as mute spectators.
“How can MC allow a shopkeeper to set up shop on the road,” said a passerby Davinder Singh.
MC official Sanjeev Garg claimed, “The shop has been directed to remove the encroachment. Some of it was removed by our team in afternoon. If the shopkeeper does not remove his stuff voluntarily, stern action will be taken.”
Traffic inside walled city has come to standstill due to encroachment by shopkeepers. HT has learnt that none of them have the requisite permission. Dharampura Bazaar, Arna Barna Chowk, A-Tank, Adalat Bazaar are the worst-hit. Leela Bhavan Chowk and the Upper Mall road are also affected.
President of Patiala Trade Association (Vyapar Mandal) Rakesh Gupta said, “The encroachment on the main roads or markets makes traffic movement a torture. The administration must take action against the violators. However, one can’t stop Diwali bazaars inside the walled city. These are old bazaars and people travel a long way to shop,” he said, adding that traffic was not regulated.
“The administration should have declared some parts of the city as traffic-free zone to minimise inconvenience,” he added.
“Some roads inside the city should have been declared one-way with adequate parking space at entry points of these roads. However, officials are always found indulging in blame game,” said another local shopkeer, Ashok Bansal.
Areas most severely hit
Dharampura Bazaar, Arna Barna Chowk, A-Tank, Adalat Bazaar are the worst-hit. The Leela Bhavan Chowk and the Upper Mall road are also affected.