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Shrinking green cover issue finds no mention in any Lok Sabha candidates’ speech

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Tribune News Service

Neeraj Bagga

Amritsar, May 27

The holy city has been bursting at its seams due to rapid urbanisation. However, neither the political parties nor their candidates contesting the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat have spared a thought about extending its green cover.

Manreet Singh, a hotelier, said instead of lush green landscape greeting the devotees after entering the city from the GT road, tourists find rehris plying on either side of the stretch from Golden Gate to the ISBT. Unorganised flow of vehicles, vehicles laden with sand causing it to fly around besides excessive concretisation are among the other problems. He demanded that politicians contesting from the Amritsar seat which houses the holiest Sikh shrine should spare a thought on making the stretch neat and clean besides giving it a green look to offer a soothing sight to the eye for tourists coming from a tiresome journey.

There are several claims that Amritsar used to be a city of gardens ever since its inception. Guru Ramdas, founder of the city, had planned it with gardens and dug a large sarovar near Santokhsar Bagh. Guru Arjan Dev, the fifth Sikh master, developed the first garden in the city on the eastern side of the Golden Temple, which is called Guru Ka Bagh. A century ago, the walled city had a small garden in every locality. Most of these gardens have now been encroached upon, developed as localities or turned into parking lots.

Amrit Anand park and jogging track along the Upper Bari Doab Canal (UBDC) were the last parks which were added to the green lungs of the city in the past decade or so. On the other hand, fast paced urbanisation saw a number of localities coming up even beyond the bypasses in the last 24 years.

Concerned citizens are of the view that these parks are insufficient in comparison to the scale on which new localities have come up in the city. They take solace from the fact that 38 parks were redeveloped under Phase I and Phase II of the Smart City project.

Balram Sharma, a resident of Ranjit Avenue, demanded that green parks and playgrounds should be established in all four directions of the city for the convenience of residents and youngsters. He opined that it was possible only when the candidates in fray integrate these views in their plans.

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The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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