The Shahjahanbad Redevelopment Corporation has set March 20 as the deadline for removal of encroachments and unauthorised parking and easing traffic in Old Delhi area. A senior government official said the corporation will inform the Delhi High Court about this deadline within a few days.
In a recently held meeting, the corporation delegated these tasks to specific civic agencies as directed by the court and fixed the deadline. The meeting was chaired by Ashwani Kumar, secretary, Public Work Department (PWD) who is also the court appointed chief nodal officer of Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Project.
A senior official of the Delhi government said that after considering the idea of turning Chandni Chowk into a pedestrian zone, the board had concluded that this could not be done until basic traffic rules were not enforced. As a result, 15 issues have been indentified, which the concerned agencies have to resolve on priority.
“Encroachments, unauthorised parking, chaotic traffic and messy power cables are the main areas of concern. Converting Chandni Chowk into a pedestrian zone will be a radical step and is not feasible at present. The first and foremost step is to do basic enforcement of rules to bring some order,” the official said.
He added that the corporation had earlier submitted this ‘to-do’ list comprising 15 issues before the Delhi High Court which, in turn, directed it to add names of the officials in charge along with a deadline. The official said the directions from the court will ensure accountability and timely completion of the project.
“The court has directed SRDC to convene a meeting with all stakeholders within 10 days to pick names of the officials from North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Traffic Police, PWD, Railways, and SRDC who will be accountable for the work. The meeting was held on Monday and officials have been assigned tasks. The complete timeline with name of the officers will be submitted in the court,” he said.
The official said the government will also explore possibilities of creating a virtual 3D replica of Shahjahanabad as it existed during 1640. “A virtual model of Shahjahan’s original city will provide a clear idea about what we need to do for its redevelopment. This will further enhance tourism in the Walled City. We will consult historical references, records, historians and books. The idea was mooted by the court,” he said.
To resolve parking issues and encroachment on roads, the PWD along with traffic police and officials of north Municipal Corporation carried out an inspection on Monday.
List of issues flagged by the SRDC
- Encroachment removal from Netaji Subhash Marg and SP Mukherjee Marg (Delhi Traffic Police/ North Corporation)
- Ban on loading/ unloading in Chandni Chowk during 11amM-8pm (Delhi Traffic Police)
- Lane marking and signs on Netaji Subhash Marg (Public Work Department)
- Parking charges to be raised significantly to discourage private vehicles in Chandni Chowk. Curb on unauthorised hawking (North Corporation)
- Dangal Maidan parking will be handed over to PWD by the North Municipal Corporation for development (North Corporation/ PWD)
- Infrastructure improvement at existing parking facilities and removal of abandoned vehicles at parking lots in the area (North Municipal Corporation)
- Relocation of transformer underground near Town Hall (PWD/ SRDC)
- Completion of development of old Delhi railway station and SP Mukherjee Marg (Northern Railways)
- Delhi Metro will expedite its work in front of Lal Quila (DMRC)
- Consultation with traders and RWAs to improvement traffic (SRDC)