In view of the Panthic convention to be held by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) at the Golden Temple here on Sunday, the city police have banned the plying of four-wheelers inside the walled city for a day. The move is likely to inconvenience the locals and visitors alike.
Since the SAD is holding its core committee meeting at Teja Singh Samundari Hall on Saturday evening and the Panthic convention on Sunday morning, the police are gearing up to seal the area inside the walled city for four-wheelers.
An order issued by the Amritsar police commissionerate says that no four-wheeler will be allowed near the Golden Temple and inside the walled city from 5 pm on Saturday till 6 pm on Sunday.
Neither four-wheelers from outside would be allowed, nor the residents of the walled city having four-wheelers would be allowed to use them, the police said.
Since many tourists and pilgrims reach here every day to pay obeisance at the Golden Temple, the ban will inconvenience them.
There is a lot of buzz in the Hall Gate area where locals and tourists come in cars for shopping and other works; the ban will hamper their movement.
The police have allowed only the movement of two-wheelers inside the walled city; no taxis, auto-rickshaws or tongas would be allowed.
Both the functions of the Akali Dal will be attended by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal.
The police anticipate that thousands of people will reach the Golden Temple for the convention.
Anyone who wants to reach the Golden Temple or Jallianwala Bagh has to enter through the walled city. Even thousands of tourists, who visit Attari to watch the retreat ceremony, come back to the Golden Temple in the evening.
It being a Sunday, the inflow of tourists visiting Harmandar Sahib grows in a big way and they mostly come by cars or taxis. So they will have to leave behind their vehicles in view of the ban.
The police have also decided to keep the Saragarhi parking vacant to accommodate the vehicles of those coming for the convention.
Police commissioner Jatinder Singh Aulakh said, "Since very high-profile events are taking place and a major rush is expected, the police have decided on this. We are trying our best that locals and visitors face no inconvenience."
SGPC secretary Dalmegh Singh told HT, "We are talking to the police and will ensure that no devotee faces inconvenience."