Revamped Central Vista in Delhi to open on September 8

Updated on Sep 08, 2022 07:04 AM IST

Anticipating a rush in the initial weeks, the Delhi Police has been asked to provide additional personnel in the area, officials of the Union housing and urban affairs ministry said, requesting anonymity. The area has been closed for 19 months.

Close to 50 security guards will be deployed to ensure there is no damage caused to the new infrastructure.
Close to 50 security guards will be deployed to ensure there is no damage caused to the new infrastructure.
ByRisha Chitlangia, New Delhi

The revamped Central Vista in the national capital will be thrown open to the public after Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates it on September 8. He will also unveil a statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at India Gate.

Anticipating a rush in the initial weeks, the Delhi Police has been asked to provide additional personnel in the area, officials of the Union housing and urban affairs ministry said, requesting anonymity. The area has been closed for 19 months.

“It is an important public space. Earlier, too, the footfall was high, especially during the weekend. We are expecting a huge crowd as it is opening after a long gap and people are curious to see the redeveloped avenue,” a ministry official said. “For one month, there will be heavy police deployment in the area.”

After the inauguration, scheduled at around 7pm on Thursday, the stretch between Vijay Chowk and Mansingh Road on Rajpath will be open to the public. The stretch between India Gate and Mansingh Road will be opened to the public over the weekend after the arrangements made for the inauguration are cleared, the official said.

Close to 50 security guards will be deployed to ensure there is no damage caused to the new infrastructure, he said. As many as 300 CCTV cameras have been installed in the area, which will be monitored 24x7 at a control room set up at the avenue, the official added.

On Saturday, finishing touches were being given at the 1.8km redeveloped lawns and new facilities that have been built as part of the 608 crore-project, work on which started on February 1 last year.

Visitors will be in for a new experience, as walkways have been constructed along the Rajpath and on the lawns. The lawns on both sides of the canals, which have been repaired, have been connected with bridges, providing people additional green space. The Central Public Works Department (CPWD), the nodal agency for the project, has constructed four pedestrian underpasses to provide smooth connectivity between the lawns.

“We have constructed close to 16.6km of walkways on this stretch, and other essential facilities, which were missing earlier,” another official said. “The bridges constructed over the canals will provide smooth access to the parking area.

The CPWD has constructed parking space for 1,117 cars and 40 buses on either side of Rajpath. “Parking will be free for the first 1-2 months. We have asked the New Delhi Municipal Council to manage the parking lots. Initially, parking space for 700 vehicles will be opened to the public due to ongoing construction work at common central secretariat buildings,” the official said.

There will be a few restrictions, such as access to India Gate at C-Hexagon will be after a security check. Vendors will not be allowed on the lawns between C-Hexagon and Mansingh Road.

Earlier, there used to be ice-cream carts parked on Rajpath in the evening.

“No decision has been taken as of now. But initially, the ice-cream carts will not be allowed on Rajpath, but vendors can sell items in the vending zone,” the official said. “We have to look at the situation once the area is open to the public.”

Like earlier, people will be able to enjoy boating in the canals, but officials said that it will be allowed in just two canals, the one located in the first lawn opposite India Gate and the other one near Krishi Bhavan.

Two other facilities at C-hexagon have been constructed where 16 shops have been constructed. “These shops will be given to state emporiums or artisans to display their goods,” the first official said. “We have asked Delhi tourism to finalise it.”

The upkeep of the Central Vista, which is spread over 177 acres, will be a mammoth task, ministry officials said. “Though we will have our teams for sanitation service, people’s cooperation is essential to maintain the redeveloped area,” an official said.

The ministry also ants to ensure there is no or little damage to the lawns during the Republic Day parade. For this, some permanent arrangements would be made.

“Due to movement of heavy vehicles and the temporary structures that were erected for the parade, the lawns used to get damaged,” a senior officlal said. “We have paved the areas where the stage was erected for sitting. We have taken measures to ensure minimum disturbance at lawns while making arrangements for the parade.”

“Currently, it takes 2-3 months to make the arrangements,” he said. “With the new system, we will take just a few days to make all the arrangements.”

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