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Amritsar

Posted at: Feb 17, 2017, 1:03 AM; last updated: Feb 17, 2017, 1:03 AM (IST)

Barricades outside Town Hall irritate tourists

Visitors have to cover 4 km to reach Golden Temple
Barricades outside Town Hall irritate tourists
Barricading at a road near Cheel Mandi in Amritsar on Thursday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, February 16

Tourists and devotees, who come to Golden Temple from Hall Bazaar side, have been suffering due to barricading by the traffic police on Heritage Street. Earlier, tourist vehicles reached Saragarhi parking via Cheel Mandi Road. Now, the administration has stopped entry of vehicles towards Cheel Mandi from Books Market.

The police force vehicles ferrying tourists to return from Bharava da Dhaba towards Katar Jaimal Singh. The practice leads inconveniences commuters.

Tourist vehicles also lead to jams in the nearby markets as drivers try to take short cut to reach Saragarhi parking. A few days ago shopkeepers had protested and demanded stopping the entry of heavy vehicles in Cheel Mandi Market as they said it led to jams. After the protest, the administration installed barricades outside the Town Hall building and stopped entry of vehicles towards Cheel Mandi.

Now, there is no option for a visitor to park vehicle if he/she comes from Hall Bazar side to pay obeisance at Golden Temple. Tourists have to return to Katra Jaimal Singh and then go around the walled city to enter the Saragarhi parking via Sheran Wala Gate.

Shopkeepers and area residents have suggested that the administration should open entry of Saragarhi parking towards Town Hall building and also allow vehicles up to Longan Wali Devi Mandir T Point.

Surjit Singh, a local shopkeeper said, “Tourists from other states are not aware which road leads to parking. They often enter in the old city from Hall Gate. When they reach near Town Hall the police tells them to turn back and come through Sheran Wala Gate. The Saragarhi parking is 200 metres away from the Book Bazaar. Visitors have to drive more than 4 km to reach the parking. The administration should allow entry of Saragarhi parking from Town Hall side.”

Meanwhile, policemen on traffic duty are also against the decision of the administration. “It is unjustified to ask someone to drive 4 km, when parking is just 200 metres away. But, senior officials have instructed not to allow anyone to enter from the Town Hall side,” said a policeman.

Hardial Singh, Assistant Commissioner of Police (Traffic) said, “I am not authorised to comment on this issue.” Despite several attempts, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) did not respond to calls.

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