INFRA BOTTLENECK

It's a merry-go-round of problems at Circular Road

It's a merry-go-round of problems at Circular Road

A lot of traffic snarls are witnessed on the Circular road due to stray animals occupying the footpaths in Amritsar. Photo: Sunil Kumar

Neeraj Bagga
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, July 14

The Circular road running around the historic walled city is gasping for breath. Stretching about 7.3km, it is home to many traffic snarls, stray animals, vendors and shopkeepers. Already irregular in width — at places there is a width of 100ft and at densely commercialised spaces same is reduced to 60ft and more – it is crying for the attention of authorities concerned.

With so much crammed in, the orbital road is one which commuters would really like to avoid but that is just a wish, for it connects the walled city with rest of the district. Availability for motorists to ply here depends upon commercial relevance of a stretch. For instance, the road between the Hall Gate to the Exit Gate of the ISBT invariably remains congested due to parking of vendors on either side.

Rampant encroachments by shopkeepers is another major infrastructure lapse. Consider this, about 12 historic gates revolve around the stretch and with footfall of not only locals but tourists as well – most come to visit the revered Golden temple – the shopkeepers just can’’t resist to display their goods on the roadside to tempt people. This also gobbles up already limited space.

Not only this, the stretch between Sikandari Gate to Hathi Gate has repair shops of two-wheelers lined up. The path from Lohgarh chowk to Khazana Gate, from Gurdwara Baba Deep Singh chowk to Sultanwind chowk is also dotted with shops. As a result, instances of road and platform encroachments can be seen. Come down to the thoroughfare between Lohgarh Gate to BK Dutt Gate, it is overrun by vegetable and fruit vendors.

Adding to the menace and further highlighting the infrastructure loopholes are the stray cattle. A herd of stray animals like cows and buffaloes occupy footpaths, dividers regularly, even the operational roads are not spared at times. As scores of vendors are situated, stray animals like cows and buffaloes easily get the leftovers or stale, rotten veggies vendors throw in the open to fulfill their hunger.

Thus, posing a threat to public and commuters. The claims made by authorities are fictitious, there is no decline in their number.

On the other hand, they have continued to swell.

One can say that Circular road is an infrastructure put on a carousel of swirling loopholes giving rise to a never-ending round of problems. Even the authorities have failed to address this long-pending issue.

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