The Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s (MCD) proposed ‘Mahila Haat’ that will come up on the terrace of the underground parking on Asaf Ali Road is likely to add to the existing chaos on the busy road.
The Mahila Haat will have as many as 64 stalls and a gathering space for about 500 people, along with open seating and two bandstands.
A look at the topography gives an idea about the congestion in the area: bang opposite are two hospitals — LNJP Hospital and GB Pant Hospital. Then there are several offices in the locality with a busy throughfare — Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg — nearby.
The new Civic Centre is coming up a few hundred metres away. And last, but not the least, barely a kilometer away is the New Delhi Railway Station, being revamped for commercial use too.
Though the existing underground parking has a capacity of 1,200 vehicles, it falls way short of the requirement.
Will the proposed Mahila Haat not pose a problem for traffic and parking?
“I always see several vehicles parked in the lanes and by-lanes in the area. This parking does not cater to existing demand, how will it meet the new requirement,” asks a traffic official from the area.
A lot will also depend on whether the entry and exit for the proposed facility are different from the existing entry and exit points for the underground parking, he said.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) S.N. Shrivastava said, “We are not aware about any such plans, we have not received any communication regarding traffic management in the area with regard to it (the proposed Mahila Haat).”
Mayor Arti Mehra, however, said, “There is no need to make new traffic circulation plan as the new facility is coming up on the existing infrastructure.”
“And although we have not yet conducted a study to ascertain the exact number of visitors, parking too should not be a problem, as this will be on the terrace of the existing parking facility,” Mehra told the Hindustan Times.