Shopkeepers protest construction of Dhanaula road underbridge
More than 200 shopkeepers of Dhanaula Road and College Road blocked traffic on the College Road on Thursday, demanding that the reported proposal to construct an underbridge on Dhanaula Road railways crossing be scrapped. The dharna hit normal life and traffic came to a standstill for hours. People took longer routes to reach their homes.punjab Updated: Dec 26, 2013 22:41 IST
More than 200 shopkeepers of Dhanaula Road and College Road blocked traffic on the College Road on Thursday, demanding that the reported proposal to construct an underbridge on Dhanaula Road railways crossing be scrapped.
The dharna hit normal life and traffic came to a standstill for hours. People took longer routes to reach their homes.
The shopkeepers were seen carrying a drawing of proposed underbridge, which they claim to have 'sourced' unofficially from the office of the deputy commissioner and claimed that if the underbridge was made, trucks would not be able to reach their shops for unloading of goods, directly impacting their business.
However, DC Gurloveleen Singh Sidhu said, "We have not received any drawing from railways as yet. Railways have requested us for a no-objection certificate. We shall collect objections of from the public and collate input from PWD, PSPCL, revenue, sewerage and other departments and only then issue an NOC. People are carrying some unofficial drawing."
Rajesh Bunty, a shopkeeper, said, "College Road is the only road in the city from where heavy vehicles can enter easily for unloading goods to traders. If the RUB is constructed, it will leave little space to move."
Avtar Singh Sandhu, another protestor, said, "Instead of a big underbridge, the railways should construct a small underbridge for two-wheelers only. It will not harm our business."
With the protesters reportedly upset that Sangrur MP Vijay Inder Singla had initiated the proposal for an underbridge, Singla said: "People had met me for construction of the RUB. I had assured them that I would get the design prepared. If the RUB creates hindrance for people, then I will not go ahead with the move. If the public wants me to move ahead, then I will."
"The railways had asked for an NOC from the district administration, regarding the closure of crossing. There is no drawing as yet," Singla added.
The Dhanaula Road railway crossing is closed more than 40 times in a day. To provide some respite to people, the proposal to construct an RUB was mooted. Recently, ADC Zora Singh Thind, along with various department heads, had visited the site for inspection. Eyeing the Lok Sabha polls, MP Vijay Inder Singla and his potential rival Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa had been clamouring to take credit for the ideation of the underbridge. Now, with these protests, their response will be closely watched.
The circulation of an unofficial drawing had fuelled protest from shopkeepers regarding the Dhanaula road underbridge.