The ‘Face of the City’, Connaught Place, is all set to regain its lost glory with the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) soon starting work on restoration of the premier commercial hub.
After the pilot project of restoring block C of the ‘Pride of NDMC’, the civic body has permission to go ahead with the restoration of the entire market.
“Connaught Place is the face of the city and keeping in mind the Commonwealth Games next year, we would concentrate on two aspects of restoration as at now — the façade, improvement of pedestrian facilities and utility ducts/tunnels in the middle circle,” said NDMC chairman Parimal Rai.
With the green signal from the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, NDMC officials said work on for restoration of the remaining blocks would be completed by September next year.
The civic body would carry out improvement of pedestrian area in Outer circle, augmentation and upgradation of engineering services, construction of new subways and providing escalators in the existing subways. A sum of Rs 252.78 crore has been cleared under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) scheme for the project.
Officials added that the civic body would start work on only some components of the project, leaving the rest to after the Games to ensure that no work is left half-completed during the event.
To prevent roads from getting damaged due to digging, the civic body has also decided to construct underground common ducts through which all utility cables can pass through.
Unit Area Method
Besides, the council would be introducing the unit area method under which works on the premise that similarly placed properties in the same area should pay same tax. The civic body had approved it during this financial year and sent it to the Delhi government.
“We are hoping to get the nod soon. Under this system, it is expected that revenue from residential areas will go down, only to be compensated by a shade higher commercial earnings,” said Rai.
No new taxes
In budget 2009-10, the civic body has not levied any new taxes and the rate of existing taxes is also the same.
The NDMC has proposed a deficit budget of Rs 1,655.65 crore due to capital-intensive projects — especially improvement of Shivaji stadium and Talkatora stadium being undertaken in view of the Commonwealth Games.
“We have requested the Delhi government to fund these two projects under the Commonwealth Games to make up for the deficit,” added Rai.