Manmeet Singh Gill
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 29
The 1.5-km stretch from the Chheharta chowk to Chheharta Sahib Gurdwara is a driver’s nightmare, especially when the level crossing on the stretch is closed.
The closed level crossing, especially during early morning hours when people are coming to their workplaces in the city and children are going to their schools and in evening when they are going back results in long queues of vehicles.
The stretch connects around two dozen villages on the outskirts with the city. As the historic gurdwara is associated with the sixth Sikh Guru, hundreds of devotees from across the state visit it daily.
On the days of the ‘mela’ every month, the devotees turn up in thousands. Further, as the grain stored at three grain warehouses on the Dhand-Kasel road are transported to other states from the Chheharta railway station in the vicinity of the railway crossing, hundreds of trucks ply on the stretch during the harvesting season.
In such circumstances, in addition to the common problems such as encroachments, wrong parking, lack of traffic sense, the time spent in covering this 1.5-km distance depends on the intensity of all these hurdles.
“On the days of the ‘mela’, when transportation by trains is also going on, it could take as long as two hours to go through the level crossing,” said Balwinder Singh, a shopkeeper near the crossing.
Residents suggested that a bypass for the trucks to the railway station could be built from the back side of the gurdwara, which could ease the problem on the main line. Many others demand that a flyover on the stretch should be built. However, shopkeepers are averse to the idea, as most of them believe that business of shops under a flyover decreases.
In the absence of any traffic management at the railway crossing, the flow of traffic from both sides is obstructed by drivers who are in a hurry to cross the point. The shopkeepers suggested that if a regular check on drivers who jump lanes and create troubles for others is kept, the intensity of the problem would be reduced.
“The cops come here only after a huge traffic jam has already occurred. They remain here during the days of the ‘mela’. If drivers are issued challans for obstructing traffic by being in the wrong lane, traffic sense may be instilled in people,” said Jagtar Singh, a resident of the area.
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