Encroachments removed from street heading towards Sikh shrine Golden Temple in Amritsar : The Tribune India

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Encroachments removed from street heading towards Sikh shrine Golden Temple in Amritsar



Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 24

After a long hiatus, the municipal corporation (MC) authorities swung into action and removed rampant encroachments from the Heritage Street leading to the Golden Temple here on Monday.

Devotees coming to pay obeisance at the holiest Sikh shrine from around the world and across the country have been at the receiving end while walking on the street.

MC officials remove a hand drawn cart. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Officials of the MC along with the police removed encroachments from the stretch from where majority of devotees head to the Golden Temple on foot. Devotees often complain of being troubled by beggars and those selling articles on the roadside.

Parts of the paved street, quite similar to the European countries, were covered with sheets spread out to display several items for visitors and induce them to buy these.

The very purpose of providing aesthetically rich environs was defeated with a large number of beggars annoying devotees and people selling articles and eatables for children and women on the street.

Cops detain a Nihang Sikh from Heritage Street during an anti-encroachment drive in Amritsar.Photo: Vishal Kumar

A strong police contingent accompanied by MC officials, who also brought their open truck to carry unauthorised carts, descended on the street. They went to each nook and corner of the street to remove encroachments. They detained those people who tried to defend encroachments.

The beautification project on the Heritage Street heading from Town Hall to the Golden Temple was considered as a path-breaking development for tourists and pilgrims, but rampant encroachments and groups of beggars were undoing the entire efforts of the administration, said Jaswinder Singh, a pilgrim from Abohar.

He rued that visitors were unable to recite “Waheguru” (the name of Almighty) on the aesthetically beautiful way leading to the holiest Sikh shrine.

Tourists and SGPC officials are perplexed that despite continuous drives by the MC and the presence of the police, encroachments remain a bane for the Heritage Street.

Apart from this, beggars and stray dog menace also irritates visitors. A group of beggars mainly women and little children can be spotted seeking alms on the street. They surround young couples and ask them to give money.

Loitering in Heritage Street, these beggars give a tough time to devotees going and coming back from the shrine. Beggars are trained to emotionally blackmail tourists and do not give up until they get money.

The Heritage Street was constructed during the SAD-BJP regime by spending crores of rupees to make the pilgrimage hassle free and beautify the surroundings of the Golden Temple, but it has become congested with people teeming around for carrying out commercial activities.

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#Darbar Sahib Amritsar #Golden Temple Amritsar #Sikhs


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