Senior BJP leader and former minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla on Saturday claimed that deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's pet project Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) would "not solve problems, instead create more problems for the holy city".
Hitting out at the BRTS in a statement issued here on Saturday, she pointed at the axing of hundreds of trees along the city roads. Trees that were over 100 years old were also axed by the municipal corporation (MC) despite protests from residents, she added.
"The city is being turned into a concrete jungle and the green cover is diminishing fast. In the name of development, the beauty of Amritsar was turned into ashes and no one in the government is bothered," she said.
Referring to the claims of Sukhbir Badal of turning the city into another Dubai, Chawla said, "By large scale felling of trees, Amritsar indeed is turning into a desert. The date palms that have been planted on the orders of the deputy CM along some of the roads do give a feeling of Dubai."
Chawla also hit out at the MC over demolition of kiosks along the old GT road, right in front of the Cantonment police station. Nearly 30 kiosks were demolished on Saturday to widen the existing road as per the BRT plan.
"After destroying green cover and environment, now the government wants to snatch our livelihood. What will the owners of these kiosks do? They have not been given any compensation," she lamented.
Pointing toward yet another proposal to widen the Circular road around the old walled city, Chawla claimed: "This proposal will also hit the livelihood of several families as it again involve shops and kiosks being bull-dozed."
"The heritage of this city is going to be destroyed," she said, while referring to several old structures being dismantled by the MC.
Chawla lamented that barring protests from some heritage and environmental lovers and residents, no political leader had come forward to protest the "destruction of Amritsar".
She appealed to the Amritsar MP and MLAs to open their eyes and save whatever was left in this grand old city.