Encroachments on roads pose threat to commuters

Encroachments on roads pose threat to commuters

Bikes parked on the roadside and footpaths lead to traffic chaos on the Lawrence road in Amritsar. Photo: Vishal Kumar

PK Jaiswar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, January 22

Encroachments on roads, footpaths and public places by shopkeepers have become a common sight in the holy city. The encroachments are narrowing the width of the road, posing a threat to pedestrians and commuters.

However, it seems that police personnel, MC and district administration officials have turned a blind eye towards the problem. Moreover, these have become an eyesore for national and international tourists, who visit the city in large numbers everyday.

Recently, the police had observed a road safety week and organised many awareness programmes in schools to apprise students of traffic norms so that road mishaps could be contained.

“Roads inside the walled city, Civil Lines area, Majitha Road area, Batala road area, Putlighar and Chheharta have been encroached upon by shopkeepers and street vendors, leaving no space to walk. Due to political influence, no action is taken in this regard,” said Ravinder Sharma, a city resident.

In the Putlighar area, roads have been encroached upon at least 10 to 12 ft. Besides, vends and haphazard parking of bikes have added to the problems. Sweet makers have put up tandoors on footpaths.

ADCP (Traffic) Jaswant Kaur said despite removing encroachments in certain parts of the city by police teams, these had come up again. She said removing encroachments was primarily the job of the Municipal Corporation, but its officials hardly pay any heed to it.

“We have repeatedly written to the MC authorities in this regard, but to no avail. Removing encroachments will definitely help in reducing jams on roads. The police are contemplating to register FIRs against the encroachers if they don’t mend their ways even after repeated warnings,” she added.

MC acts tough

The estate wing of the Municipal Corporation carried out an anti-encroachment drive in various areas of the city on Wednesday. MC teams led by various estate office employees, including Inspector Raj Kumar, Surinder Sharma, Kuldeep Singh and Dawinder Bhatti, visited Saini Chowk, Fatehgarh Churian Road area, Rattan Singh Chowk, Ranjit Avenue, A block, Bhachat Bhavan, Loon Mandi, Goal Bagh, Maqbool Road area, Link Road area, Landa Bazaar and Anand Avenue. The teams seized goods displayed on roads outside shops and vends. Sushant Bhatia, estate officer, said, “We removed encroachments from various areas of the city. Challans have also been issued to shopkeepers near Bhachat Bhavan.”

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