Encroachments rampant, commuters continue to suffer

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Charanjit Singh Teja

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, June 11

The 500-metre stretch from Putlighar Chowk to Gawal Mandi Chowk gives a nightmarish experience to commuters. The road is encroached upon by a large number of roadside vendors. Besides, shopkeepers too have displayed their articles outside their outlets, making the roads narrower for commuters. Shimla Market, where more that 500 traders run their business, is also located on this stretch.

The road witnesses traffic jams every evening as residents come for the shopping in the main market and Shimla market. There are around 140 shops on both sides of the road. Almost all shopkeepers have encroached the 10 feet road and footpath to display their articles. Almost every shop has one vendor outside its premises. Shopkeepers take a certain amount of money from vendors to provide them space in front of their shop.

One of the major reasons behind congestion is Shimla market which is located on the same road. The residential area has turned into the market in the last three decades. Visitors at the market park their vehicles on the main road, resulting in traffic jams. Four-wheelers take almost 20 minutes to cross this stretch in the evening. Haphazard parking in the absence of adequate parking space is also one of the reasons behind the road congestion.

Area councillor Raj Kumar Jolly, who also owns a shop in the market, said, “I have encroached 5 feet while others encroached more than 15 feet road. I have been raising the issue in the MC House. We are demanding construction of 5 feet footpath and demarcation of parking space on the road. But MC officials show no concern.”

Dilbag Singh, a visitor at market, said, “The estate wing of the MC has turned a blind eye towards encroachments. The MC should provide parking space and take action against the illegal markets in the residential areas.”

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