Tribune News Service
Amritsar, June 7
A walk through the Heritage Street and its adjoining lanes can present two different pictures of the traffic scenario through the stretch from the Hall gate leading up to Golden Temple. The Heritage Street itself, which was a promise by the previous SAD-BJP government of the city’s growth and beautification, soon fell prey to traffic violations, with two-wheelers freely moving inside the ‘no traffic zone’.
The shoppers lane, too, isn’t safe as tourists on foot have to manoeuver their way towards Golden Temple while saving themselves from being hit by two-wheelers. Illegal parking around the Town Hall and the stretch outside the cultural statues, too, make for an eyesore.
The streamlining of traffic and parking from the Hall gate to the Katra Jaimal Singh has made little difference as the traffic flow has been divided into the small bylanes surrounding the area. The narrow lanes are packed with e-rickshaws and two-wheelers and traffic jams are an everyday thing. “There has been no difference for shopkeepers around here as the streets remains packed with traffic all throughout the day. With the tourist flow increasing due to the Heritage Street, the e-rickshaws have eaten away the road space that was supposed to be for pedestrians,” says Tarkeshwar Mehta, a cloth shop owner. The condition worsens in the evenings, as local footfall, too, increases.
“The MC parking is insufficient and Saragarhi Parking needs a drive down to another 3 km. So, the roads along the Hall gate stretch become illegal parking zones in the evening. Also, lack any check on violators, too, add to woes of commuters, especially the shopkeepers and traders,” says Sonu, a shopkeeper at the Hall gate.
The e-rickshaws, too, ply along the narrow bylanes, which increases the risk of accidents and traffic jams.