Palika Bazaar market is located in the heart of the city, but with the outbreak of malls everywhere, the underground hangout had lost its beat. Almost.
Ahead of the Commonwealth Games to be held next year, the market is scheduled for a makeover-and a roar back to the top of the charts.
The tenders for carrying out the upgradation work were called recently by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and construction work will start within two months -to be completed before the 2010 Games.
The Council of NDMC approved the proposal recently. "This is the first development plan ever undertaken for the market," said a senior NDMC official. The total cost of the project is Rs. 22 crore.
Under the upgradation plan prepared by the civic agency, the existing air conditioning system will be refurbished. A fancy lighting system will illuminate the market and shoppers' feet will glide across granite flooring-all in tune with the 'international look'.
The market will also be made disabled-friendly for which two ramps will be constructed in the market arena.
"The floor of the market is made of kota stone presently but under the upgradation plan we will replace it with granite that will not only give it a modern look but will be easier for maintenance too," said the official. "We will also install modern day street furniture for the shoppers.".
In addition to this, the civic agency has also made plans of installing new improved modern signages in the market area and installing false ceiling. There will be two ramps at Gate No 2 and 7 for the handicapped.
"The ramps that will be constructed will be smooth and disabled friendly. Toilets will also be upgraded. There will be special toilets for the handicapped," added the official.
The traders of Palika Bazaar welcomed the potentially chartbusting plan.
"This overhaul was needed for the market for quite some time and we are glad it is finally being done," said Baljeet Singh Kohli, president of Palika Bazaar shopkeeper welfare association.
"Shoppers are now more used to mall-like-facilities that were not there in the market. We get international customers and installation of escalators and elevators will benefit the market."