Come August and Connaught Place will be free of out-in-the-open electricity cables and wires cluttering its landscape.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is constructing a 1.2-km- long underground tunnel in CP's Middle Circle to store all cables and wires, including high-tension cables, low-tension cables, communication cables, air conditioner pipes, centralised fire fighting system and gas pipes.
Not only this, all the transformers and air conditioners in individual shops will also be connected through the underground tunnel. According to the civic agency, this is the first such project in the country.
"We are carrying out façade restoration work of CP and these dangling wires look very ugly. By having all these cables and wires underground it will be much more organised. People will be able to have a better view of CP," said Ramesh Raina, chief engineer, NDMC.
Once the tunnel is complete there will be no need for digging up roads to pull out wires, which is the norm currently for carrying out repair work.
The civic agency started work on the project in January and is hoping to complete it by August. The total cost of the project is Rs. 250 crore.
"As the tunnel ends 21 feet below the ground, when we started work in January the temperature was so low that all the labourers ran away. We could start work only by the end of the month," said a senior NDMC official.
According to the civic agency, when CP was constructed it was the Middle Circle that used to have all the wires and cables buried under the ground.
"This is the reason we have constructed the tunnel in the Middle Circle. The walls of the tunnel will have various openings from where all the cables and wires will be carried through smaller ducts to each shop," added the official.
An electric trolley will be used by the staff to enter the tunnel for maintenance work. NDMC says it will charge a nominal maintenance fee from all the concerned agencies.
"Once it is complete, we might even allow the public to enter the tunnel to see how it works," said the official.
Keeping future demands in mind, the tunnel will have scope for expansion. The centralised fire fighting system in the tunnel is linked to each block of CP where water will be stored.
"In case of emergency we don't need fire brigades. All we will have to do is give a central command from the tunnel and water will come out from all the various openings in each blocks," added the official.
The municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) has also been trying to get rid of all the overhead wires in Chandni Chowk by creating underground ducts but the plan is yet to take off.