North civic body draws Rs 500 crore plan to revamp Chandni Chowk

  • Mohit Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Aug 17, 2015 13:45 IST
Civic body officials say the drive will ensure that the classical architecture in the area remains intact. Many buildings in the area are more than 200 years old (HT File Photo)

The walled city is all set to undergo a major revamp. In a move to protect heritage sites and improve conditions of buildings in Chandni Chowk, the north civic body has decided to beautify the area.

While many buildings in the area are more than 200 years old, officials say, the drive will ensure that the classical architecture in the area remains intact.

Officials have been asked to prepare a detailed report of the project, senior leaders in the corporation say. The beautification will be on the lines of Central Delhi’s Connaught Place, the leaders added.

“Apart from monuments, Chandni Chowk continues to be of great religious and heritage importance. While it is a classical example of Hindu-Muslim unity, the architectural of the place has redefined building structures worldwide,” Virender Babbar, deputy chair of the north corporation standing committee, said.

With municipal corporations in the Capital reeling under a financial crunch, sources claim the civic body will approach the Delhi government for funding. The project is estimated to cost Rs 500 crore.

Among the things planned for Chandni Chowk include renovation of buildings, broadening of roads, and plantation around the buildings while maintaining the original architectural heritage.

Further, the civic body plans to renew the long lost heritage of food and clothing in the area. Apart from developing food courts and subways, the corporation is also eyeing to conduct special tours of in and around the old city.

“Most buildings in the area are at least 150-200-year-old. While their current owners have little means to renovate the structures, they can be preserved and turned into a major tourist attraction, if efforts are made,” Babbar added.

High ranking officials, however, said that Chandni Chowk is under the Shahjahanabad redevelopment corporation (SDRC) and that the north civic body will soon initiate the talks with SDRC and seek their help in the matter.

Officials further added that the north civic body might also approach the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) for suggestions and expertise in its attempt to revamp Chandni Chowk like Connaught Place.

After the revamp, the current rent imposed on the shops under street-vending rules might also see an increase and help the corporation raise funds, officials claim. Some of the shops in the Chandni Chowk pay less than ` 10 as monthly rent to the north corporation owing to ancient rates, which are still prevalent.

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