The elaborate street-scaping of footpath and service lane in front of Gandhi Smriti - the national memorial for Mahatma Gandhi - on Tees January Marg, ahead of the Commonwealth Games, have led to decrease in footfalls at the memorial.
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), in its project aimed at beautification and also facilitation of pedestrians, has cut off the service lane in front of Gandhi Smriti. This has put granite stones all over the portion, the erstwhile footpath stretch and the service lane too, which was used as parking by visitors’ vehicles.
“Thanks to the missing parking in front, the footfalls have decreased from an average of 3,000 per day to less than 1,500 visitors per day. Buses bring in the bulk visitors, students, and tourists,” said an official at the institution, on conditions of anonymity.
Explains Anil Kumar (name changed on request), on duty at one of the entry gates, “Smaller vehicles at least get to wait till the visitors alight but it is a big problem for the buses as traffic police challan them.”
“It has been observed that the buses slow down in front of Gandhi Smriti, apparently the people are just shown the memorial from outside and they go away,” he added.
Those who can afford to walk a little - and pay - resort to using the parking just behind the Hotel Claridges. However, identifying the problem, the NDMC has come up with an idea of providing a parking site just behind the Gandhi Smriti premises.
Already, the authorities allow four wheelers to be parked at the under-construction parking site. Once it is completed, the place would be able to accommodate buses too.
NDMC spokesperson Anand Tiwari said, “The parking work is at an advanced stage of completion. It will be completed by this month end.”