Months into AAP govt, civic issues persist


Charanjit Singh Teja

Amritsar, December 30

After the formation of a new government in March, the residents were hopeful that they would get rid of perennial civic problems like poor sanitation, traffic congestion and political interference in public projects. However, there has been no improvement so far.

The encroachments on public places and government land remain a matter of grave concern for the urban voters who spend hours stuck in traffic jams. Rather than taking action against the encroachers, east MLA Jiwanjot Kaur supported the vendors at the bus stand, who were being shifted to the vending zone by the MC. No significant action has been taken against any illegal hotel, illegal construction, market or encroachment since the formation of the AAP government. Utter mismanagement has been witnessed at the Heritage street and other important places.

The Amritsar Improvement Trust (AIT), too, remains inactive over the encroachments. The tea stalls and restaurants at the Novelty Chowk on the Lawrence Road have been entertaining the visitors by providing sitting arrangements in the parking space. The visitors park their vehicles on the road and block the traffic. The corridors of the Nehru shopping complex, encroached during the term of AIT chairman Dinesh Bassi, are still not removed.

Apart from this, the MC receives a large number of complaints regarding water contamination and sewer choking. There has been no development of the infrastructure to address the problems.

Advocate Kuljit Singh, a social activist, said, “After the formation of the AAP government, the residents were hopeful that these issues would be resolved. However, the problems facing the residents are only deteriorating further with each passing day. The traffic nuisance has become a routine affair on every segment of the city. The administration and the civic body have failed to provide any solution.”

“There was a narrative that the Akali and Congress governments had failed to provide good governance in the past 70 years, and that a change in the political class would bring about a positive change in the system. But so far, no improvement has been witnessed, ” rued Narinder Singh Dhillon, a resident.