The restoration of Connaught Place is getting into the final phases but the debate over which ‘stone’ to use on the floors of the corridors — granite or sandstone — does not seem to end. In fact, the issue is getting complex with each passing day.
The high street of New Delhi is getting a makeover ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
First, there wes a tiff between the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Delhi Urban Arts Commission, an apex body to maintain city aesthetics, over the use of granite and sandstone.
Now, the Lt. Governor of Delhi has joined the debate by recommending the use of granite over sandstone.
The Lt. Governor has expressed concern over the heavy footfall in the market and has shot off a letter to Urban Development Ministry, advising it to use granite for the entire market. Granite, he says, is easier to maintain.
“Compared with sandstone, granite is easier to maintain and is better in terms of compactness, strength and doesn’t get eroded easily. Looking at the increase in footfalls over the years, it will be useful to use granite as it can be maintained easily,” said Ranjan Mukherjee, Officer on Special Duty (OSD) to the Lt. Governor.
“The Lt. Governor has advised the ministry to look into these suggestions,” Mukherjee said.
The Lt. Governor said granite was used in C block of Connaught Place, which was restored long time back.
“The Lt. Governor has also raised the question that if DUAC had earlier allowed NDMC to go ahead with granite so why are they refusing them now?” added Mukherjee.
The New Delhi Traders’ Association (NDTA), one of the biggest stakeholders in the project, has also been recommending the use of granite.
“Compared with the 1930s, CP has overgrown and there has been a drastic increase in the footfalls. Maintenance of sandstone flooring would have been easier back than, but is not the case now,” said
Atul Bhargava, president of the NDTA.
Bhargava said CP was frequented by thousands of people and cleaning marks of tobacco spit and other marks is easier with granite flooring.