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HindustanTimes Wed,03 Sep 2014

Restored Connaught Place aims for a grand October re-launch

Ritam Halder, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 02, 2013
First Published: 23:13 IST(2/5/2013) | Last Updated: 23:16 IST(2/5/2013)

The construction work of Connaught Place — one of the largest financial, commercial and business centers of Delhi — had started in 1929 and completed in 1933.

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Eighty years later, the vibrant business centre of the city is ready for a rebirth this year, after undergoing major revamp and restoration work.

“Once the restoration work is complete, we would like to re-launch Connaught Place once again. This is a landmark, not only of the city but also of the country, because of being centrally located and of course because of its grandeur and architectural elegance,” said Atul Bhargava, president, New Delhi Traders Association.

According to Bhargava, a music festival, a shopping fiesta and a vintage car rally would be the ideal accompaniments for a grand re-launch for the place.

He claimed that talks in this regard had already been commenced with various agencies.

“We have done over 10 fests here and are speaking to people regarding the arrangements. We have met the chief minister, who has expressed her interest for a re-launch,” Bhargava said.

The traders’ association president said that the vintage car rally will mirror the grandeur of the majestic Connaught Place.

“This place started functioning in the 1930s and still stands tall with all its beauty. There are many vintage cars that date to the same decade and still have a lot of elegance. So these vehicles at Connaught Place at the time of the re-launch will make the ideal setting,” Bhargava said.

He added that for now October was being considered as the month for re-launch, keeping in mind Navratri and the following Diwali festivities.

However, the planning of the re-launch of the fourth most expensive office destinations of the world might hit a hurdle if the renovation projects fail to meet their deadlines.

Conceived in April 2004 and after getting the final approval from Delhi Urban Art Commission in November 2008, the project has missed numerous deadlines.

The latest June 30 deadline is now under scanner with work on the subways and service duct still remaining.

The New Delhi Municipal Council and the traders, however, are hopeful that the project will be finished by October.


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