Call it ill-planning or failure on the NDMC's part in not being able to relay Connaught Place's corridors with sandstone that shops in CP are all going to sport different coloured flooring.
While granite has been used in the flooring in the C-Block corridor, the flooring of B-block shops has a mixture of marble and Kota stone. The same story is repeated in other corridors where traders have relaid the floors in front of their shops as per their individual choices.
Running out of time to meet the Commonwealth Games deadline, the NDMC has decided not to relay Connaught Place's floors with sandstone. According to the NDMC, the Delhi Urban Arts Commission's, (DUAC) an apex body to maintain the city's aesthetics had insisted on using hand-chiselled sandstone for corridor flooring, which is not easily available.
“We wanted to use granite for flooring in all the corridors in CP, but due to DUAC's insistence we had to go for sandstone. However, the DUAC has asked us to go for hand-chiselled sandstone which takes a lot of time to procure as it is not readily available. Waiting to get those stones would have delayed the project further so we have decided not to relay the corridors,” said a senior NDMC official.
The civic agency has been fighting over the issue of which stone to use with the DUAC for years. The DUAC had initially directed the civic body to go ahead with sandstone and rejected the use of granite as suggested by NDMC.
However, the NDMC's decision to not relay the corridors spells doom for the market as far as uniformity is concerned. While CP's C-block which was restored first as a pilot project sports granite flooring, the market's traders have redone the flooring with Kota stone, marble and mosaic flooring.
Though traders' had also opposed the use of sandstone for corridor flooring, they are unhappy with the NDMC's decision to not relay the floors before the Games.
"If not sandstone they could have at least used Kota stone for all the blocks. This would have ensured uniformity. First they said the Outer Circle subways will not be ready and now this," said Atul Bhargava, president of New Delhi Traders' Association.