After months of waiting, a new, cleaner and sleeker Palika Bazaar at Connaught Place was inaugurated by Delhi chief minister Sheila Dikshit on Saturday. The R30-crore project has been executed by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC).
The shopping complex has also been fitted with two escalators to make it easy for customers to explore the shops. In addition, energy efficient LED lights, centralised drinking water plant, centralised monitoring and controlling system, modern fire fighting system, etc., have also been provided.
The market, constructed in 1978,has the distinction of being the first air-conditioned underground market in the country. "With the passage of time, a need was felt to upgrade and renovate the existing facilities to meet the requirements of traders and shoppers," said a senior NDMC official.
The air-conditioning plant and air-handling units have been replaced as part of the upgrading. "Twenty big exhaust fans have also been installed for air circulation and they will function from November to February. This will create a very comfortable environment for shoppers," added the official.
To enhance the aesthetic look while maintaining cleanliness, the entire underground market has been provided with granite flooring and a new false ceiling, glass mosaic tiles on the columns and stairs and railings on the stairs and ramps.
All shops have also been provided with uniform signboards. The civic agency completed the work in 10 months.
When quizzed over the CAG report on the Commonwealth Games mess and the support she has received from the Congress, Dikshit said: "I'm thankful to them for supporting me. We have not overspent for the Games projects and we cooperate with all the agencies inquiring into the