Thursday, Dec 01, 2022

Smart City project: Traders fret over plan to convert parts of Connaught Place into public walkways

The first phase of this plan will involve moving parking lots of traders to the multi-level parking near Shivaji Stadium and providing free pick-up and drop facility to traders from there.

Connaught Place, Delhi Connaught Place, Connaught Place parking, Connaught Place new construction, CP new delhi, new delhi, delhi news A rooftop view of Connaught Place (New Delhi). (Source: Express Archive)

As part of their Smart City project, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is mulling over converting parts of Connaught Place area into pedestrian walkways – a move that has received opposition from traders in the area.

According to a senior NDMC official, the first phase of this plan will involve moving parking lots of traders to the multi-level parking near Shivaji Stadium and providing free pick-up and drop facility to traders from there.

“This will de-congest the market area and these parking lots can be used by visitors in the first phase. Moreover, traders will be charged a certain amount at the multi-level parking lot and hence revenue can be generated,” the official said.
The second phase involves doing away with surface parking areas which are currently being managed by the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System (DIMTS).

“In Connaught Place, we are mulling over shifting parking lots in inner and middle circles to outside the market. The Pallika Bazar parking lot, however, will be functional. The plan is likely to be implemented in Sarojini Nagar market after its implementation in Connaught Place,” the NDMC official added.

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At present, only 100 out of the 750 parking lots in Shivaji Stadium are occupied at a given point. While the NDMC plan will improve car occupancy at this multi-level parking lot, traders have opposed the move and alleged that business is likely to be affected.

“Around 500 traders have written to the NDMC against this proposal of making Connaught Place a pedestrian-only zone. This will affect footfall in the market. While such projects have been implemented abroad, at Times Square and other places, this cannot be implemented in a country like India. People come to CP and shop for expensive products, especially jewellery. Will they feel safe walking back or using public transport,” asked Atul Bhargava, president, New Delhi Traders’ Association.

NDMC officials have maintained that despite traders expressing their concerns, the plan was still under consideration. Criticising the council for its plan to de-congest the Connaught Place market area, Bhargava further said, “Their approach to the problem is flawed. They have not been able to remove hawkers, beggars and drug addicts who occupy pavements. The first step in de-congesting the area should be this.”

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Under the Smart City challenge of the Union Ministry for Urban Development, NDMC has been shortlisted in the first round. It is currently in the process of drawing up a Smart City proposal, the official added.

First published on: 03-12-2015 at 02:19:03 am
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