Friday, November 29, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Flyovers, subways mooted to beautify Amritsar
Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

Amritsar, November 28
Several flyovers, subways for pedestrians across the GT road and parking places have been recommended for the city with a view to removing traffic bottlenecks, and re-routing traffic at many places.

There is also move to charge parking fee in commercial areas of the city. The recommendations on regulating traffic have been made in the comprehensive report prepared by RITE — a consultant agency on the request of Local Self Government Department. The report submitted three years ago has been taken up by the government to beautify the city, visited by VVIPs everyday.

In a demi-official letter to Mr Sunil Dutti, Mayor, Corporation, Amritsar, Secretary Local Bodies, Sarvesh Kaushal has asked him to place the report of RITE before the general house of the local Corporation. Mr Kaushal has also asked Mr Dutti to draw up “actionable points” beneficial to general public. The Local Bodies Department has offered to help the Corporation in deciding funding pattern of the works short-listed.

Expressing concern over traffic bottlenecks, the report concluded that there was urgent need to remove roadside encroachments for the optimisation of transport on infrastructure and for safe, efficient and convenient movement. The four-stage transport demand model was developed to foresee traffic up to 2006.

The report says that intersections are major bottlenecks in the city road network, “the traffic volumes of a large number of intersections in the city have exceeded their original designs which hindered smooth flow of traffic besides affecting the safety of pedestrians on these intersections. The problem is further accentuated as the intersections in many areas have been encroached upon thus causing difficulty for turning vehicles and the flow of pedestrians leading to congestion”. The report emphasised geometric improvements to make the intersections more functional and thereby achieving smoother traffic movement.

The report said that parking had become a chronic problem in the city. Major commercial areas in the city are getting choked due to lack of organised parking. The report has identified critical areas in the city as Hall Bazaar, Golden Temple, Shastri Bazaar, Telephone Exchange, Lawrence Road, bus terminal and Railway Terminal etc. The absence of public transport has aggravated the parking problem and valuable road space is utilised for parking.

The report has asked the authorities concerned that parking fee should be charged — 50 paise for cycles and Rs 2 for scooters. The car parking should be mainly off the street as far as possible. Parking fee for car has been recommended as Rs 5.

A study of roads of the city revealed that several missing links create traffic problems at many places. The report stated that linking of the strategic roads could improve accessibility and reduce travel time. Under the bus stand area management scheme, a pedestrian subway across the GT road has also been recommended as part of comprehensive passenger/ pedstrian circulation plan.

The roads recommended for immediate widening, include G.T. Road, Ram Tirath Road, Ajnala Road, Fatehgarh Churian Road, Majitha Road, Batala Road, Sultanwind Road, Tarn Taran Road, Khem Karan Road, Islamabad Road and the Mall Road.

The overbridges proposed in the report are: Putlighar (Islamabad end), Tarn Taran road, Reigo bridge. However, the construction of pedestrian subways have been recommended at bus terminal, Queens road, Lawrence road and Putlighar.

The report also recommended plying of mini buses on various routes to reduce decongestion. Electric trolley buses have also been recommended on three routes within the walled city.

On the other hand, the report recommended immediate shifting of fruit and vegetable market and Bhagtanwala grain market.

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