Shop­keep­ers unite against Metro

HT Ludhiana Live - - Front Page - Divya Goyal ludlivedesk@hin­dus­tan­times.com LUD­HI­ANA:

Var­i­ous shop­keep­ers' as­so­ci­a­tions from across the city came to­gether to op­pose the Rs 10,300-crore metro project here on Thurs­day. The shop­keep­ers, who sub­mit­ted a mem­o­ran­dum to for­mer health min­is­ter of the state, Sat­pal Gosain, cited var­i­ous rea­sons for their op­po­si­tion to the mega project.

A ma­jor re­sis­tance was put up to the pro­posed east-west cor­ri­dor to be con­structed through Ja­graon Bridge, Field Ganj and Jail Road, one of the most con­gested ar­eas of the city.

The shop­keep­ers from the area said, “Most of the shops here have been around for decades, their own­ers have been run­ning busi­nesses for gen­er­a­tions. This sud­den change which will lead to heavy con­struc­tion in the area will not only bring fi­nan­cial losses but will also af­fect them emo­tion­ally. They are not ready to bear any dam­age to their per­sonal prop­er­ties be­cause of the metro project.”

The shop­keep­ers also raised ob­jec­tion to the two pro­posed sta­tions, Durga Mata Mandir and Gur­d­wara Dukh Ni­waran, cit­ing that the dis­tance be­tween the two sta­tions is far too less and non-vi­able from con­struc­tion point of view.

They also sug­gested that the cor­po­ra­tion could use the va­cant space near Durga Mata Mandir for the sta­tion in­stead of Gur­d­wara Dukh Ni­waran.

The shop­keep­ers from Shah­pur road have named their as­so­ci­a­tion as 'Metro Sang­harsh Com­mit­tee' with Vi­pan Sood as its pres­i­dent. The Jail Road shop­keep­ers said that their area is abut­ted by 16 streets on the side of Field Ganj and at least seven streets on the other side, in­clud­ing Sukhram Na­gar, Karim Pura and oth­ers, and the shop­keep­ers in all these nar­row streets will be ad­versely af­fected by the metro con­struc­tion.

“We re­quest the gov­ern­ment to not launch the project as pro­posed, and re­view it so that no one's busi­ness gets af­fected,” said Vi­pan Sood. How­ever, se­nior town plan­ner, Him­mat Ba­tra, said, “The project is still in its ini­tial stages; shop­keep­ers need not worry. Only af­ter in­depth study and anal­y­sis of all the ar­eas, the fi­nal de­ci­sion will be taken. Right now, we can­not say any­thing as many an­gles need to be stud­ied.”

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