Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, June 3
After the execution of the Bus Rapid Transit System and other development projects, most of the roads in the city are without trees. Commuters, especially cyclists and two-wheeler riders, are facing a tough time amid scorching heat as they find no shade on the road to take a halt for taking a rest.
There were a large number of fully grown shady trees on Mall Road, Court Road, GT Road and Circular Road a few years ago. Most of the trees were planted during the British era while developing the new area outside the walled city. With the execution of these projects, hundreds of tress were axed in the last couple of years.
According to the officials of the Public Works Department (PWD), the construction company handling the BRTS project had installed around 2,000 tree guards along with the Metro Bus lane and committed to plant 2,500 trees. Since the BRTS project has resulted in a major loss of the green belt, some NGOs and social organisations have been raising their voice for the plantation of trees on the same roads. Member of Parliament (MP) Gurjeet Singh Aujla, in collaboration with local MLAs, has announced to spare funds to the tune of Rs 50 lakh to plant trees on the key routes of the holy city. The aim is to plant at least 1 million trees. A special panel has been constituted for the same and Deputy Commissioner Kamaldeep Singh Sangha is heading it.
In the wake of the World Environment Day that falls on June 5, DC Kamaldeep Singh Sangha, while addressing a meeting, gave a call to the local schools to plant at least 40 native trees. The district administration has also been encouraging the residents to plant native trees instead of exotic plants.
“There is no shade on city roads where a rickshaw puller or a labourer can sit for sometime. Shady trees have been axed and exotic saplings have been planted. The administration should plant trees on all the roads and even inner streets to tackle the environmental challenges,” said RS Bedi, a local resident.
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