Road Widening Project Displaces Old Shopkeepers Near Jallianwala Bagh

Reported by

Damandeep SinghLand Conflict Watch

Last updated on

December 3, 2019

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In 1998, the Amritsar administration conceptualised the Jallianwala Bagh roadwidening scheme. The 1.5 kmroad stretch was to be widened by 80 feet to ease traffic congestion on the way to the Golden Temple. However, due to resistance by people whose shops and houses were to be demolished, the project was put on hold. The aggrieved shopkeepers had gone to the High Court and its width was reduced to 60 feet. Then they approached the Supreme Court following which the road width was again reduced to 40 feet. No work began until June 2013 when the Land Acquisition Department served a 15day notice to the occupants of about 140 shops and houses to vacate their premises. On 13 July 2013 at 4:00 in the morning, amidst heavy police security, Amritsar Improvement Trust demolished about 140 shops and houses from Ghee Mandi Chowk to the Jallianwala Bagh area. Reportedly, around 1,000 people were affected. The compensation of about 8.98 crores has been paid only to the owner of shops.However, tenants of shops demanded separate rehabilitation package. Although the government has proposed rehabilitation scheme which include relocation to new sites in areas such as Jahajgarh, Ranjit Avenue, Mall Mandi and New Amritsar. But the tenants of these shops are unhappy and staged a protest saying that these areas are too far from Jallianwala Bagh and that they will lose their old customers.

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Private and Common

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Government Bodies Involved in the Conflict:

Amritsar Improvement Trust, Land Acquistion Department

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