After frequent cases of fire in Chandni Chowk, the Delhi government has finally woken up to the deplorable condition of the area and decided to clear the mess of overhead electric and telephone cables. All wires will now be shifted underground.
Delhi chief minister and finance minister Sheila Dikshit has announced R25 crore for creating ducts in which the wires will be put to make the Walled City neater and more aesthetic. The Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation will provide these ducts along all the major roads in the Walled City.
This isn't the first time that such an announcement has been made. The Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) had made tall promises of improving infrastructure in Shahjahanabad for the past many years but nothing concrete has happened till date.
Last year, both the government and the civic body had proposed to carry out improvement work in the Walled City before the Commonwealth Games including constructing new footpaths, improving walkways, façade improvement, repairing old buildings, etc., but the deadlines came and went and nothing changed.
"The only reason they have decided to create these ducts is because the National Human Rights Commission had said the present condition in Chandni Chowk are inhuman. Overhead wires are the norm everywhere here. The budget has proposed to remove these cables and shift them underground just as they have done in Daryanganj. But it is high time they started executing the project rather than simply making plans one after the other," said Sanjay Bhargava, general secretary of Chandni Chowk traders' association.