Putting its foot down, the Amritsar district administration on Sunday decided to go ahead with its move to convert the road leading to the Golden Temple into a ‘no-traffic zone’, despite the recent tension it evoked among the shopkeepers.
Amritsar deputy commissioner Varun Roojam, who visited the site on Saturday afternoon, while talking to HT said, “We will convert the area into a ‘no-traffic zone’ as per the plan. Anyone who has any sort of objection can come forward and talk to us. The project, however, will not be stopped.”
Meanwhile, the business community also held meetings on Saturday and criticised the attitude of the administration. They said the government’s move that would cause loss to them was not required.
On Friday, the shopkeepers had staged a protest and damaged the structure that is being constructed to install bollards (short vertical posts arranged in a line to obstruct the passage of motor vehicles in order to control traffic). Raising slogans against the authorities, the protesters had filled up the dug area and said they would not allow installing of bollards.
Police and the public works department (PWD) officials had to rush to the spot to pacify the agitated protesters, but the shopkeepers were stern with their decision.
Responding to the protest, the city police had registered a case against 150 unidentified shopkeepers for allegedly damaging the government’s property.
The government is setting up bollards along the road leading to the Golden Temple in order to convert it into a pedestrian zone, while the shopkeepers are afraid that the move might affect their business as they will not be able to bring vehicles to load and unload goods for their shops.