Charanjit Singh Teja
Amritsar, November 26
With illegal encroachments mushrooming, the road from Gawal Mandi Chowk to Islamabad witnesses frequent traffic jams resulting in routine inconvenience to commuters. The construction of a bridge on 22 number railway crossing adds to the woes of the residents as commuters face long traffic jams at Putlighar Chowk and on the road from Gawal Mandi Chowk to Islamabad.
Almost all the shopkeepers on the road display their goods on the footpath. In the evening, shopkeepers encroach upon some portion of the road by putting up their display stands, hangers and other goods. The haphazardly parked vehicles also encroach upon a major portion of the road. Vendors install their kiosks right on the road. The residents who visit the market to buy items of daily need, fruits and vegetables often stop their vehicles in the middle of the road to do their shopping.
All these lead to heavy traffic jams around Putlighar chowk. Sometimes, the commuters have to spend almost half an hour to cross a stretch of less than one kilometer.
“There is no designated parking space in the area. So, the visitors to the market park their vehicles on road. We don’t allow them to block the thoroughfare. We will start towing away the vehicles creating an obstacle in the flow of traffic,” said a traffic police officer.
Dharminderjit Singh, Estate Officer of MC said, “We often seize the goods of shopkeepers and remove the vends on the road from Gawal Mandi Chowk to Islamabad. When our teams leave the area, the shopkeepers and vendors again encroach upon the road. With the construction of a bridge on the railway crossing, the stretch witnesses regular traffic jams.”
The Municipal Corporation and the police have been planning to initiate a joint drive to make the area free of encroachments. However, local politicians in the area often put pressure on the MC staff not to take any action against the violators.
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