Govardhan, 2018.12.07 (VT): At the order of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), traffic police have put chains closing six of the main entrances to Govardhan Parikrama Marg. The move comes after years of traffic conjestion and several failed attempts to make the Parikrama Marg a vehicle free zone.
The road cannot be closed permanently as it provides the only access many villages, schools and houses. The NGT has also ordered the construction of a ‘service road’ at 200 meters distance from the Parikrama Marg. During a hearing at the tribunal in May, authorities expressed inability to build a ring road at 200 meters distance from the Parikrama Marg. Authorities said that due to the area around Govardhan being heavily developed, the ring road will have to be around 500 meters away from the Parikrama Marg.
A multi-storey parking lot is also planned for the area near the bus station. Presently cars are parking outside Danghati temples which is angering locals as they are wondering why shopkeepers livelihoods were taken away if the area is just to be used as a carpark.
Authorities are now showing their seriousness in rerouting traffic away from congested zones. Despite the lack of parking facilities and the delays in getting the service road constructed, a series of one-way zones and traffic diversions is changing the way traffic moves through Braj.
In Vrindavan also, main thoroughfares are blocked to cars and autos. People who lived on small lanes, like the back streets of Sheetal Chaya are suddenly finding that their street has become the main thoroughfare for e-rickhaws.