Amid all the chants of 'Go Green, Go Clean' by the local civic authorities, the green belts in district shopping complex at Ranjit Avenue here depict a contrary picture, as they have just turned out to be garbage dumping grounds, a happy playground for beggars and a hangout for anti-social elements, posing security risk to woman employees working in the complex.
The idea of the green belt was to beautify the residential areas as well as the shopping complexes. But in reality there is no check on the excess growth of weeds, Congress grass and unwanted bushes because of which the cattle menace is also being witnessed. In the rainy season, mosquitoes' are breeding here and garbage is spreading foul smell.
Ironically, unlike the residents' associations, the shopkeeper associations are inactive and do not take initiative to maintain their areas. The district shopping complex in Ranjit Avenue attracts a large number of foreign tourists and the civic authorities and shopkeepers are offering them such a shameful sight.
In June 2014, Hindustan Times had taken up the issue with the management authorities of the green belt area and improvement trust chairman Sandeep Rishi had then admitted the inefficiency of the authorities in this regard and assured to ensure regular maintenance of green belts.
But in the past two months, the only visible change witnessed is cutting of the Congress grass which is again on the growing stage .
The situation is almost similar in other parts of Ranjit Avenue -- the green belt area is a happy place for encroachers. To make the matters worse, even the residents lack basic civic sense. They are regularly dump garbage at these green belts.
Amritsar improvement trust chairman Sandeep Rishi said, "Authorities are responsible for the maintenance, but I want to ask the shopkeepers and brand owners of these posh localities about their sense of responsibility? Now in many residential areas of Ranjit avenue, residents taking an initiative are paid by the improvement trust, but they appoint a gardener and maintain their areas. But this is missing in case of shopkeepers".
"We work in our showroom till late evening thus I request the improvement trust authorities that while developing the green belt area the women security should be considered. Practically this area should be converted into a concrete parking lot with shady trees and flood lights. Green belt here cannot be maintained, we have lost hope thus, to at least restrict cattle and dog menace along with alcoholics entry this area should be converted into a concrete space."
Ranju Kochar, manager of a show room
This area can no longer be called a green belt, rather it has become a garbage dump and a rat breeding area. The pathetic condition of this area makes the residents of local colonies feel that rats can be left and filth can be thrown here. I suggest half of the area of the green belt can be given to pedestrians by widening the adjoining road and the rest can be converted into parking.
Pal Singh Bumrah, owner of a building
The shopping complex attracts a lot of foreign tourists and thus I feel authorities should plan some beautification of this green belt --convert it into an attractive sitting area with concrete benches and greenery all around. This way, shopkeepers as well as customers can enjoy the sun in winters and it can be an attractive shopping plaza.
Davneet Kaur, manager of a showroom
I would soon have a meeting with shopkeepers and give them suggestions to maintain this green belt and if they are unable to do so, this area would be converted into a concrete parking lot so that at least the adjoining road can be widened and pedestrians can get footpaths to walk.
Sandeep rishi, chairman, Amritsar improvement trust
Locality: Green belt in the district shopping complex, Ranjit avenue
Size of park: 0.75 acre
Maintenance agency: Improvement trust, Amritsar