Finding a spot to park your car in Connaught Place is set to get tougher as planners have decided to expand the pavements and create a seating plaza in the outer circle that will lead to lesser space for vehicles.
In the middle circle, pavements will be built on both sides of the road leaving a narrow strip for parking.
Before the Connaught Place redevelopment project was taken up by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), about 7,000 cars could be parked in the market. Now, the market cannot accommodate more than 2,500 cars and after the completion of the project, the total number of vehicles parked will not exceed 3,000.
The arrangement of a green buffer zone followed by wide pavements and seating plazas has already been implemented at the inner circle where the parking space has shrunk. Before the plan was implemented over 1,000 cars could be accommodated there. Now, there is space for only 700 cars.
Unhappy over the prospect of losing more parking space, the traders are at loggerheads with the planners over the redevelopment plan of the outer and the middle circle.
"We have requested the planners to ensure that parking space should not shrink. Both the traders and shoppers need space for parking. During peak hours, finding space for parking becomes very difficult," said Atul Bhargava, president of the New Delhi Traders' Association.
No efforts to carve out extra parking space in the area have also not helped the situation. The NDMC has built a multi-level automated parking on Baba Kharak Singh Marg but it has remained unpopular among the shoppers who prefer to park near the shops.
While the multi-level parking has space for 1,408 cars, only about 500 cars are parked there each day.