Manmeet Singh Gill
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, July 25
The old sabzi mandi outside Hall Gate has turned into a garbage disposal site in the last 13 years after vegetable shops were shifted to new market at Vallah in 2004.
Though a few fruit shops continue to operate from a portion of the old mandi, a major portion of the site is being used by people to throw garbage and waste generated at their commercial establishments.
Residents of the nearby areas and shopkeepers say foul smell emanates from the waste round the clock. “The problem exacerbates after rains. Stagnant water is a common site where mosquitoes breed,” said a fruit merchant, Kewal Kumar.
Some people say it should be converted into a parking lot since the city faces a shortage of parking space. “Until the government decides what to do with this land, it can be used as a parking lot,” said Satpal Singh, a city resident.
The Hall Bazaar and the Golden Temple road witness heavy traffic congestion every day. Even though a multistory parking facility is available at the adjoining Bhandari bridge and another one behind Town Hall, commuters are often reluctant to use these for high ticket prices.
As many private tourist buses operate from under the newly-constructed leg of the Bhandari bridge, it further adds to traffic chaos. “With a lot of vacant space inside the old vegetable market which already has a network of roads, bus operators, who otherwise park on roadsides, could be shifted to the plots in the mandi,” said another resident, Balkaran Singh.
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