Charanjit Singh Teja
Tribune News Service
Amritsar, May 31
Traffic congestion on the 500-metre Rambagh Chowk to Gol Hatti Chowk stretch, leading to Golden Temple, is a pathetic tale of traffic chaos.
Poor flow of traffic on the stretch has increased the woes of commuters, especially tourists, coming to the holy city. The only reason behind traffic chaos in this lane is encroachment by shopkeepers and street vendors.
The road has prominent grocery, utensil and dry fruit stores and it is one of the oldest market inside the walled city.
It is a key stretch which leads to other prominent markets including Katra Jaimal Singh, Katra Sher Singh, Katra Baghian, Guru Bazaar, Kotwali and the most preferred way to Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh. Not only encroachments, but a mismanaged parking is another cause behind the chaos here.
On top of that, the Municipal Corporation is not paying any heed to the prevalent situation
The shopkeepers have encroached almost five feet to 10 feet of the road, including the footpath.
The stretch thus is not safe for pedestrians. Utensil merchants displaying their ware, others their grocery items in the midst of the lane is quite common even though the stretch lies in between two main police stations, Rambagh and Kotwali police stations, the but movement of cops for managing the traffic leaves much to be desired.
Even local residents do not take any initiative for the smooth movement of traffic, rather they make it worse by parking their vehicles improperly. The unavailability of a parking lot near this particular stretch also results in traffic chaos. The movement of auto-rickshaws and electric tricycles also goes on unchecked.
The traffic policemen are running a tow-away drive in the city, but this stretch sees none of it. Meanwhile, Jaswinder Singh, estate officer of the MC, claimed that they are de-marking separate vending zones to remove vendors from the roads to address the issue.