The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has passed a proposal to extend the deadline of the Connaught Place restoration project to June 30. Over the next four months, the exterior of some parts of the market will be renovated and the utility duct in the middle circle completed.
The council members in the monthly meeting held on Thursday took the decision after the contractor requested for an extension to complete the project. The project has been in the making for three-and-a-half years.
The other important agenda in the meeting was a proposed hike in parking charges, that has been deferred in what is now being seen as a ploy before elections.
With the assembly elections ahead, chief minister Sheila Dikshit, who chaired the meeting, did not wish to upset voters by increasing parking charges, sources said.
This despite the fact that both the Environment Pollution Control Authority (EPCA) and the high court appointed Special Task Force headed by the chief secretary have been pushing for higher charges.
The council has 54 parking sites in its jurisdiction, divided into five groups.
"A study of the parking fee structure has been ordered again and the proposal has been deferred," said member Karan Singh Tanwar, MLA from Delhi Cantt.
If implemented, the parking charges will increase from the existing Rs. 10 for four hours to Rs. 50 for three hours.
Tanwar said the council has, however, decided to go ahead and tender the underground parking at Palika Bazaar that has the capacity for 975 four wheelers and 450 two wheelers.
The parking charges will remain unchanged until further notice.