HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

Save Connaught Place: HT campaigns for Delhi’s heart

Hamari Jamatia & Neelam Pandey, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 06, 2012
First Published: 00:35 IST(6/9/2012) | Last Updated: 00:29 IST(14/9/2012)

For the fourth year in a row, Connaught Place will miss the Diwali shopping blitz — thanks to haywire construction, dug-up roads, waterlogged corridors and nightmare parking.

The project to take the British era market back to its glory days has missed every deadline. Planners expect to cross the finish line in December but stakeholders are sceptical.

For, even if the façade renovation and the tunnel in the middle circle are completed, placing pipes for phone and power lines will take another six months.

Business has taken a huge hit with sales dipping as much as 70% in middle circle. Meanwhile, project cost has gone up from Rs. 76 crore in 2005 to Rs. 477 crore this June.

“CP is in a bad state. I have been meeting contractors and NDMC representatives regularly and telling them to expedite work,” CM Sheila Dikshit said.

It’s not just pace of work, quality is also a big concern. The renovation completed in 2010 before the Commonwealth Games — the original deadline — is already in disarray with paint peeling and pillars cracking. “There has been poor craftsmanship,” said conservationist AGK Menon.

Work on subways and drainage is also pending while traders complain that bigger pavements have eaten into parking space.

Also read: 'Connaught Place: Delhi's circle of mess'


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