Connaught Place looks different these days and shoppers have noticed the change. But the process of restoring its old glory is leading to a lot of inconvenience.
As part of the restoration work, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is using most part of A block (Inner circle) parking area for storing construction material.
The civic body has also created an office in the parking lot. The parking space has shrunk considerably due to the ongoing work. This has also led to a decrease in footfalls and hit businesses hard.
Atul Bhargava, president of the New Delhi Trader’s Association, said, “Blocks A and E are facing 50 and 25 per cent shortage in space, respectively. This has left approximately 250 cars without a place to park. The cramped parking lots are resulting in long queues to enter/exit the space.”
“Our business has also been hit by 25 per cent. We have requested the civic agency to create alternative parking space to tide over the problem,” he added.
Parts of several parking lots have been dug up to lay new cables and extend walking passages, as well. “I have been waiting to take out my car for half an hour. It is difficult to walk in the parking lots let alone park a car,” said Neelkant Mehra (52).
It’s not just the motorists who are finding it hard to manage with limited space even parking attendants are having a tough time managing the parking lots.
“Our parking lot is meant to accommodate 200 cars at a time. However, with parking restrictions in CP, most of the motorists are also using our parking lots which results in utter chaos at times,” said Vinod Kumar Mishra, a parking attendant at Janpath.
Restoration work in Connaught Place is scheduled to get over only by September 2010, before the Commonwealth Games. “We understand the problems being faced but work is being carried out in full swing. We have tried to keep the built up space to a minimum and a major chunk of the work will be completed by January,” said NDMC spokesperson Anand Tiwari.