It isn’t just the civic agencies that need to pull up their socks to revamp and maintain Connaught Place (CP). Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit said the onus of maintaining the beauty of this iconic market also lies on the people of the city.
“I recently went to Connaught Place and found a lot of people spitting everywhere and staining the walls and pillars of the market. It is not just decolouring and dirtying the walls. Spit carries germs and it is unhygienic for everyone — shopkeepers, workers and the people visiting the place,” Dikshit told a team of Hindustan Times, which submitted a petition on behalf of Delhiites, requesting the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to clean and restore Connaught Place to its original glory.
Though the agencies have recently initiated a campaign to clean paan stains from the walls, Dikshit said it cannot be achieved unless Delhiites also contribute by keeping it clean.
An architectural heritage and a popular landmark, Connaught Place’s restoration is still incomplete despite the NDMC spending Rs. 671 crore in the past three years. The renovation should have originally been completed before the Commonwealth Games in 2010.
The petition carries the signatures of more than 5,000 people of Delhi — 4,500 online signatures and more than 500 physically signed — including the traders of CP. The restoration of Connaught Place is being implemented by Engineers India Limited (EIL) on behalf of the NDMC. A special monitoring team headed by Delhi chief secretary PK Tripathi is also keeping a watch on the maintenance work.
“I have had six meetings with the EIL in the past. I accept that their work has not been up to the mark but they claim that they will manage to meet the December 31 deadline,” she said.