From a dreary corner to a happening hub, west Delhi is all set to emerge as a hotspot on the Capital’s shopping and cultural map. With several new recreational and tourism projects coming up almost simultaneously, it is ready to give a stiff competition to south Delhi.
While new shopping malls selling prominent brands at Rajouri Garden and Subhash Nagar attract people even from south and central Delhi, an upcoming camping site and water sports facility at Kanganheri near Chhawla, a soft adventure park along the national highway 8, a replica of INA’s Dilli Haat at Janakpuri, a football stadium and a Habitat Centre at Dwarka besides a cultural centre right in the heart of west Delhi at Raja Garden are going to change the way people entertain themselves in this part of the city.
“Earlier, people used to think life exists only in south Delhi. But the good part is that facilities like shopping malls, bars, and good infrastructure is now evenly spread in west Delhi and it will continue to grow,” said Anshuman Magazine, chairman and managing director, CB Richard Ellis South Asia, a global real estate consultancy.
Though it came up much before the area across Yamuna river started developing, residents believe west Delhi lost out in the race for development to south and east Delhi. While south Delhi is considered “overdeveloped” with east Delhi following close behind, people living in west Delhi believe it is time the government shifts its focus on west Delhi.
“The neighbourhood cultural centre was constructed in 2005 but it is lying unused. We have been hearing about the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s plans to construct a Nigam Habitat Centre at Rajouri Garden district centre but it seems to be in cold storage. Culturally, people in west Delhi are as talented as in any other part of the city. But they need a place of their own,” said Pratap Sehgal, a prominent Hindi writer.
“It really sounds good that the government is trying to revive the neighbourhood cultural centre.”
Tourism department officials agree that a number of places of tourist attraction coming up simultaneously will change the perception of people about west Delhi. Apart from the neighbourhood cultural centre and Dilli Haat, the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC)is also taking up the development of a camping site at Kanganheri and a water sports facility at Chhawla.
“We are not giving any preferential treatment to west Delhi. It is just a matter of coincidence that so many good projects are coming up together in that part of the city. The challenge now is to make them popular,” said GG Saxena, managing director of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation.