Amritsar, a heritage under threat

The ancient city is rich in heritage and known for architectural marvels. Many old buildings had the wall paintings in the traditional art form of frescos but no effort was made to save them and gradually decay has set in. Many historical buildings have disappeared while others are being pulled down. The latest casualty is the first-ever educational institute of the city, the Saragarhi School, which is over 150 years old. The building is being demolished for a parking lot. What to talk about preserving, our Municipal Corporation is so callous that it has even built a toilet on the last of the 12 gates built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh around Ram Bagh.

There is no traffic plan and management. Alt all main roads are encroached upon and even the surroundings of the Railway Station have not been spared. We can see scores of buses and other vehicles parked in no parking zone on the highly congested GT Road. On the Railway Road one can see alt 20ft of road encroached by cycle sellers. The traffic police has turned a blind eye to the traffic menace. With increasing traffic on the roads, the city is being choked by dividers all over the city. No where else in the world dividers are constructed in the middle of the road, as they have simply marked the road to divide it into two parts.

It was said that the modern bus stand would smoothen traffic flow on the GT Road, but a parallel bus stand operates in the presence of the traffic police, which is nothing but a bunch of dummies.

Same goes on Queens Road, Lawrence Road, Hukam Singh Road, Ram Bagh, and Katra Jaimal Singh. In fact, Amritsar has become encroachers’ paradise. Footpaths are completely encroached upon. The Municipal Corporation has destroyed the skyline by letting advertisers put up hoardings all over the town. Pavements have been made into strategic hoarding sites caring a damn for the law, even the High Court orders are violated with impunity.

Walls of private and government buildings in the holy city have been defaced by ugly political and obscene posters, which have been prohibited by the High Court. Vulgar and obnoxious posters and graffiti can be seen all over the city. The latest feature in the city is of land scams by politicians and affluent persons, which are highlighted by the media every day.

The industrial tag of this city is alt vanishing. Today t of the industries have been converted into marriage palaces or into small colonies. Our city was known for it gardens but these are the things of the past. Today, the famous Company Bagh is alt barren with very little green area. Instead of planting trees, we are installing steel structures for hoardings.

The corporation is demolishing traffic islands and installing horrendous looking lights, spending lakhs of rupees. They have also failed in garbage management, as open trolleys litter garbage on city roads. God save us.

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