The Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) has proposed a plan to decongest a four-kilometre stretch, starting from Delhi Gate to Kashmere Gate Metro station to make commuting easier in the Walled City.
Three major intersections on the route—Darya Ganj-Jama Masjid, Lal Quila, and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Marg-Lothian Road—will be redesigned. Dedicated lanes for pedestrians and non-motorised vehicles will be carved out.
The consultant has also been asked to work on a comprehensive beautification scheme with focus on streetlights, pavements, and public services. An option to build an underpass to divert traffic not bound for the Walled City area is also being explored. The survey to prepare a final draft has already begun.
Shahjahanabad cannot be redeveloped as an island and that’s why a decongestion plan was floated, said a Delhi government official.
“To bring people to the Walled City, it is imperative to decongest the stretch. Why do vehicles heading to other parts use Netaji Subhash Marg or Lothian Road? Those vehicles should be redirected to unclog the area. A re-engineering plan is being worked on,” he said.
The proposal is significant because earlier the authorities would only talk about decongesting Chandni Chowk in the name of redevelopment of Shahjahanabad.
The emphasis is on offering equitable space for pedestrians and slow-moving vehicles, said Pradeep Sachdeva -- the consultant appointed for Shahjahanabad and Jama Masjid redevelopement.
“The current road design only favours motorists. There is virtually no space for pedestrians. The basic approach is to make the area pedestrians- and non-motorised vehicles friendly. To clear bottlenecks, the junctions redesign will also be part of the proposal,” he said.
Netaji Subhash Marg-Lothian Road is a vital link, which facilitates access to major landmarks in the vicinity such as Lal Quila, Jama Masjid, Fatehpuri Masjid, Sis Ganj Gurudwara, Chandni Chowk, Lajpat Rai Market, Darya Ganj, and Old Delhi Railway station.
The road usually remains jam packed, with the traffic going from bad to worse during peak hours. The wider and congestion-free road will attract tourists in large numbers and reduce the residents’ woes.