Days after another so-called final deadline was missed, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit visited Connaught Place on Thursday morning to take stock of the revamp project. In an hour-long inspection, she visited all three circles of the area and wasn't particularly happy with what she saw.
"The project has reached a stage where finishing touches need to be given. Wires and cables are hanging from places. The service cables/utilities must be shifted into the tunnel immediately and the work on pavements in pedestrian area should be completed soon. After that a final whitewash is also required. I'll pay another visit to the area at the end of this month," Dikshit said.
She also said the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) had asked for 15 days to finish all the work. "I have asked them to take a month but I am still not sure whether all work will be completed by then," she told Hindustan Times.
In a special series early this week, HT had highlighted how the NDMC has been unable to complete the renovation work, though it has claimed to have met the June 30 deadline.
On Thursday, the chief minister said cleanliness is a major issue in the area. "I've requested the NDMC to put up plastic sheets at a reasonable height once final painting and whitewashing is done. Even if there are spit marks, they can be wiped off easily. People should also take ownership. Once everything is done, we will call all the market associations so that proper monitoring can be done," she said.
Dikshit, who went around almost all the blocks of Connaught Place, pointed out areas that needed attention to the officials of NDMC, who had accompanied her. "The government has always been keen to restore the glory of Connaught Place. However, the sheen of the redeveloped Connaught Place would depend upon the finishing work. Any lapses in this will eclipse the beauty of this place," she said.