By Tenzin Sangmo
DHARAMSHALA, Nov. 19: As CTA wraps up its two yearlong construction and beautification of Gangchen Kyishong compound, it came across objection from the local residents in the premise against the planned construction of a light iron gate at the entrance.
At the beginning of this month, the local residents of Khuled village, better known as Ward no. 3-4, near Library, upper Gamru, filed a complaint to the MCD stating how the construction of a gate would affect the lives of its 5000 residents and about half a dozen taxi drivers.
Following the construction of the foundational base for the gate, Gankyi saw a visit of members of MCD as a result of the written complaint, spearheaded by a 40-year-old local resident Desh Raj.
The incident was published in Hindi publications the next days that also included instances of locals questioning the construction of five-story T-building built on Khasra no. 134.
On Monday, Tsewang Gyalpo Arya, Additional Secretary of Department of Home, CTA, submitted an application to the DMC Commissioner acknowledging the protest and requesting the authority for assistance in the construction of gate to help control traffic and sanitation situation. The application stressed that CTA is willing to help construct a parking spot near the almost complete road connecting the village to Jogiwara road near the residential building of CTA’s members-of-parliament. The application to the MCD commissioner included photos of the traffic situation.
The following Monday, on November 12, the CTA officials met with the mayor who said there is no need to build a gate and if there ever arises a compelling reason to do so, the mayor office will build it.
CTA’s attempt to meet the representative for locals for a friendly discussion at 10:30 am on November 14 failed after the local representative didn’t show up. Desh Raj, the representative later claimed to be ignorant about it.
Raj, producing the plot map of the area acquired from MCD, showed that the road leading to Kashag is under Khasra no. 30 and a common land under the name of MCD.
Raman Kumar, a 24-year-old taxi driver staying in the village said the road from Gankyi entrance has always been their main road and the creation of back road will not serve as an alternative. “Our marriage procession takes place on this road; when someone gets sick, we take this road as it’s the shortest way out. We cannot take a detour in emergencies. Nobody can block this road.”
CTA official reiterated on many occasions that the main purpose of the gate is not to block routes but to control the traffic situation as it gets difficult when high profile Indian and International officials visit the exile administration. The Buddhist leaders meeting commencing at the end of this month taking place at T-building is also why the CTA wants to sort it out sooner than later. His Holiness is scheduled to bless the new constructions at the end of this month.
The locals continue to remain resentful of lack of proper parking spot and expect a parking space to be made possible.
Last Friday, the Mayor Sh. Devender Jaggi, Deputy Mayor Sh. Onkar Nehria, Additional Commissioner Sh. Prabhat Chaudhary, Ward no. 4 Councilor Smt. Neenu Sharma and Executive Engineer Sh. S.K Dadhwal along with other local officials visited the CTA compound. Dharamshala settlement officer, Mr Dawa Rinchen showed them the dead end off the road and the traffic situation. However, the group was disrupted by belligerent local protestors demanding official support.
Tomorrow the CTA officials have a meeting scheduled with Mayor at 10:30 am where they intend to produce the paper necessary to address the allegation. “CTA will never do anything illegal and without permission,” Arya stated.