Sections of the Middle Circle and some of the radials have finally got freshly laid roads. But don’t go by their face value. Look around and one can clearly see that the work has been hastily done, that too to just meet the deadline.
Exposed pipes and drains lie along these roads, posing a serious hazard to shoppers, so much so that people now prefer to stay away from the once-favourite shopping destination in central Delhi.
“When you walk out of PVR Plaza and try to cross the road, there is a huge exposed pipe that you have to look out for. Also, loose construction stones and bricks are just lying about. My daughter tripped over the pipe and hurt herself. CP is now dangerous for anyone who walks here. It’s very infuriating," said Vishal Khurana, a shopper.
The restoration work in CP was supposed to be completed by December 31. Yet the shopping arcade continues to look war-ravaged.
People can be seen dodging open, dug-up pits, and juggling through the labyrinthine construction work to reach the inner circle and the Rajiv Chowk Metro station.
Not only have traffic jams become rampant in CP, but people have now begun to look for alternative shopping destinations. “The situation is now worse than ever. The radial road that connects Janpath to CP is closed. Now one can neither access the Rajiv Chowk Metro station, nor go from N Block to F Block as the interconnecting route looks like a little cave. I brought my elderly mother here, but seeing the mess, I decided to go someplace else to shop,” said Kartik Mehta, a resident of Rajouri Garden.
For some of the leading stores in CP, such decisions have meant huge losses in business. With the impending holiday season ahead, traders in the area are not hopeful that their business will see a turnaround.
“We have been surviving for nearly three years in these conditions now. Forget making profits, we are not even breaking even. Christmas and New Year’s eve are round the corner and people have just stopped visiting CP,” said Atul Kapoor, member, New Delhi Traders’ Association.