Encroachments make city’s narrow streets a tinderbox

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, ludhiana
  • Updated: Nov 30, 2014 14:10 IST

Various narrow lanes and streets across the city stand exposed to emergencies, thus posing danger to the life and property of residents, as emergency services fail to reach there due to lack of space.

A narrow street encroached upon by the shopkeepers causing traffic snarls at Kucha Number 8 area in Field Ganj in Ludhiana on Saturday.

In case of any fire and other emergency-like situation, areas with narrow lanes, including Field Ganj, Janta Nagar, and some parts of New Shimlapuri, Dashmesh Nagar, Khud Mohalla, Pindi Street and adjoining markets among others, are not prepared to handle the situation.

Adding to the woes of residents are the increasing number of encroachments and wronglyparked vehicles in these streets, that have worsened the situation.

Residents say commercial vehicles stationed in the middle of the roads for loading and unloading of the articles, thus leading to traffic snarls, is a usual seen in the markets with narrow streets.
Residents say many fire mishaps had taken place in the past, and fire could not be controlled, as the fire tenders were unable to pass through the narrow streets.

Balwinder Singh, a resident of Janta Nagar, said, “The streets here are so narrow that fire brigades cannot enter our street. A bunch of wires hanging here and there pose risk to the lives of residents. Fire department should bring in more two wheelers to provide services in case of emergencies in narrow areas.”

Jagjit Singh Makkar, a resident of Field Ganj, said, “Six months ago, my mother was unwell, and in order to take her to the hospital I had to take my own car instead of using ambulance because ambulance can’t enter our street as it is so narrow. The authorities should find out some solution to it.”

“Moreover, a sweetmeat maker has encroached upon the area at the beginning of Kucha Number 8 street. His belongings cover half of the lane, and I have warned him many times, but to no avail,” Makkar said.
Assistant divisional fire officer Bhupinder Singh said, “We have long pipes, which help us deal with any kind of emergency in narrow streets. Communication, controlling and management is difficult in narrow streets due to shortage of space.”

City 108 ambulance cluster manager Jagdeep Singh said, “There are many areas with narrow lanes, which create problem for us and the patients too. In this case, we take stretcher in the narrow lane for helping the patient to reach the ambulance van. Sometimes, due to this problem the condition of patient gets more serious, as it is time consuming.”

MC commissioner Pradeep Agarwal said, “For areas with narrow lanes, we will provide heavy water pipes in the streets. These pipes can be used in case of emergency. But, there is no alternative except this, as these areas were planned in old times, and cannot be changed.”

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