Professionals fear development projects may hamper city's heritage values

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Amritsar, Sep. 14 (ANI): Many people here feel that the Personalized Rapid Transit System (PRTS) would harm historic Walled City of Amritsar and would hamper tourism in the city.

They believe that tourism is integrated with heritage here. But in the name of development for the city, the administration may damage the heritage of an age-old wall city.

To provide comfortable transport and reduce the number of accidents in the urban areas, the Punjab government has come up with a comprehensive mobility plan (CMP) for Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Patiala, Bathinda and Pathankot by providing various alternatives for Personal Rapid Transit Systems (PRTS).

Worried conservatives feel that in case of Amritsar, the aspect of heritage has not been given due consideration in the master plan.

There are apprehensions that under the garb of redevelopment, many areas of historical value would be demolished in the holy city.

They fear the projects will alter places like the Jallianwala Bagh, and the Golden Temple.

Balwinder Singh, Conservation Planner, Guru Ramdas School of Planning, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar said that the Personalized Rapid Transit System (PRTS) is going to be implemented without keeping in mind the character of this world famous religious and historical city.

He informed that the proposal from Railway Station (Gol Bagh side) to the Golden Temple passing through about 20 feet high road for airbus via Hall bazaar, Town Hall, Jallianwala Bagh and to Chowk Ghanta Ghar, will alter the traditional layout of the city.

He said that the walled city otherwise fulfils almost all conditions to find a place in the World Heritage List, but such actions will become a big hindrance in the way.

Convener of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Dr. Sukhdev Singh, said that construction in and around the Golden Temple will mar the view of the Harmnadar Sahib and change the architectural style of the old city.

He said that they are not against development but the original architectural style of the city should be protected. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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