Not many people know that Connaught Place, the Capital's centrally located shopping promenade, is also home to many families, some of whom have been living there since the mid-1930s when the area was built.
Though they are equal stakeholders in Delhi's original high street as the area's traders, their voices have been drowned in the din of construction and restoration.
Sanjeev Gupta, who was born in and has spent his life in CP, says his second-floor house in M block has become a dust bowl ever since restoration began three years ago.
Besides, the 50-year-old's family also has to bear with disruption in power and water supply, parking woes and the noise of construction activity."My mother is ailing, and taking her to the hospital is quite an arduous task because she cannot walk properly and we have been forced to park our car away from our home. So, she has missed several necessary visits to hospital. There have been several occasions when construction workers knocked on our door in the middle of the night asking us to shift our car from one place to another to make way for their machines and trucks. What pains us most is the fact that the authorities have never consulted us before undertaking any construction work in CP," says Gupta.
His 12-year-old son Sarthak, Gupta says, has stopped cycling in CP, his wife has cut down on socialising with friends and relatives, and his father has stopped coming down from the second floor flat more than once a day.
"It is too much of a hassle taking a walk around CP because of the ditches and flooded corridors. I have lived in CP for the past five decades, but things have never been so bad. We have suffered the past four years in silence," says Lakshman Swarup, Gupta's father.
Jagdish Sharma, who lives in E block, says he always fears falling into a deep pit whenever he steps out of his home. Besides, there are wires at several places to guard against.
"I often have to take long detours whenever I have to go Shankar market. Things are quite bad during the monsoon as flooded pits have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes," says Sharma.
Shernaz Italia, whose family has been living in K block since the early 30s, says the authorities should have made it a practice to notify residents before starting work.
"My only problem is that the construction work has been over-delayed. But I am privileged to be living in CP, and hope that CP will be a better place to live after the work is complete," she says.