Manmeet Singh Gill
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 27
The 1.25 km stretch from Putlighar Chowk to Islamabad Chowk, where the historic Pipli Sahib Gurdwara is located, gives four-wheeler drivers a nightmarish experience. 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.
Most of the commuters prefer to take the route of Khalsa College for Women, which is 2 km from Putlighar, to take a road towards Islamabad, covering another 2 km. Others prefer to go through the railway overbridge (ROB) near Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, passing through Railway Colony B block to reach their destination.
The reason behind taking longer routes is the traffic congestion as a four-wheeler takes around 20 minutes to cross the Putlighar-Islamabad Chowk stretch. And that too if the railway crossing is open. In case the fatak near Raghu Nath temple is closed, long queues of vehicles is seen and it takes a long time to clear the traffic jam. Several marriages take place at Pipli Sahib Gurdwara everyday. The shrine is also visited by a large numbers of devotees.
Apart from encroachment by vendors and shopkeepers, haphazard parking by people visiting the gurdwara in the absence of adequate parking space is also one of the reasons behind the road congestion.
The road connects localities, such as Haripur, with the main city so the stretch is used by a large number of people. Traders say traffic jams at the railway crossing take place due to no traffic management.
Residents of the nearby localities say the Tehbazari wing of the MC has turned a blind eye towards the encroachments only because a senior politician in the MC has his base in the area. “Anti-encroachment drives on a regular basis in the area can yield good results,” said Kewal Singh, a city resident.
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