The New Delhi Municipal Council's (NDMC) plan to restart subway construction is a futile exercise considering that only one in five pedestrians take the trouble of using the existing ones.
"We recently conducted an informal survey, which revealed that only 20% pedestrians make use of subways in Connaught Place on a daily basis. The majority, that is 80%, believe in crossing the road on the ground level," said a senior police officer.
The entire Connaught Place area is all set to be dug-up once again from Tuesday to complete the construction of eight subways, causing problems to commuters as half the roads will be barricaded. To begin with, however, the NDMC will start construction work on four subways in Outer Circle — two each at Panchkuian Road and Barakhamba Road.
"What is the need to construct so many subways in CP given the fact that pedestrians stay away from using the ones that are already there? It will only end up creating more problems as far as parking and regulation of traffic in one of the most popular markets in the city is concerned," the officer said.
In the run up to the Commonwealth Games, officials of the UTTIPEC (United Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure Planning and Engineering Centre), an infrastructure regulatory body, had opposed the move to construct subways in a presentation to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi in October.
"We were not in the favour of these subways in Connaught Place in the first place but had to grant approval since the NDMC has already dug up the said subways and they can't be left as they are," said the officer.