With the Punjab government, district administration and the civic authorities “repeatedly ignoring” their demand for a service road, residents of the Batala road area on Monday reached the DC office sporting hangman’s nooses and black hoods demanding “either a service lane or death” to them.
The residents threatened to consider some drastic step if their demand was not fulfilled by June 12. They said five members of the area would stage a protest demonstration outside the deputy commissioner’s office from 12 noon to 3pm daily till June 12.
A few days back, the residents had collected donations in 11 boxes and presented to Amritsar DC Ravi Bhagat who, however, refused to accept the donation and directed the officials concerned to redress the residents’ problem within two days.
The residents claim that despite the DC’s order nothing had changed. Sanjeev Rampal, a social worker and a resident of the area, who is leading the protest, said, “The work for the construction of Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) is being undertaken in the area by throwing the norms to the winds and without caring two hoots about the safety of the residents and commuters.”
“Batala Road connects the city with Batala, Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The vehicular traffic traversing this road included cycles, auto-rickshaws, rickshaws, pushcarts, rehras, horse carts and school vans, besides cars, scooters, and motorcycles,” he said.
He said the dug-up road had proved damaging to the business in the area, while dust and dirt produced by the ongoing work had been creating troubles to the residents, besides posing a threat of road accident in the absence of a service lane. “A service lane is not just a necessity, but our right,” said Rampal.