Anyone who had the courage to go to Connaught Place (CP) on Sunday wouldn’t have believed that they were in the same ravaged market.
The central business district wore a distinctively cleaner look, thanks to it being on the route for the international cycling test event for the Commonwealth Games.
On Saturday, debris, construction material and barricades marked the heritage market but on Sunday morning, the debris was swept up and the construction material was stacked neatly. The barricades were gone. The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) had pulled off a miracle.
On the Outer Circle, the under construction subways were quickly patched up with blocks of granite.
But only a part of CP — the outer circle between Barakhamba Road and Janpath and a small part of the Inner Circle — was included in the cycling route.
The civic agency was working hard to prepare the venue till 5 o’ clock on Sunday morning, laying the road on the stretch that was to be used by cyclist. The practice sessions on the track started at 6 a.m.
"The clean-up of CP is an ongoing process but things were speeded up for the cycling event. The debris was dumped at the Burari plant," said Anand Tewari, spokesperson, NDMC.
The authorities had earlier flip-flopped on the route of the cycling event.
Agencies had earlier said that it would surely be part of the route. Later, the Organizing Committee said the route would have to be altered to exclude CP, as the digging work was not complete. In a press conference on Saturday, the decision was reversed once more.
But even though CP bore a semblance of sanity, the work was far from complete.
The façade restoration was incomplete in some blocks and the paving work was still going on. Work on the subways is also incomplete.