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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

‘Community Diwali’: CM Arvind Kejriwal invites all to Connaught Place

Elaborating on his idea of community Diwali, Kejriwal emphasised on a laser show which is scheduled to be organised from 6 pm to 10 pm every day between October 26 and 29 in CP’s Central Park. During these hours, the inner circle of CP will be fully pedestrianised, he said.

delhi Updated: Oct 22, 2019 05:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
CM Kejriwal said that during the show time, restrictions will be imposed only on private transport.
CM Kejriwal said that during the show time, restrictions will be imposed only on private transport. (Photo by Sonu Mehta/ Hindustan Times)
         

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday urged citizens of Delhi to join his government in Central Delhi’s Connaught Place (CP) to celebrate “community Diwali” instead of bursting crackers.

Elaborating on his idea of community Diwali, Kejriwal emphasised on a laser show which is scheduled to be organised from 6 pm to 10 pm every day between October 26 and 29 in CP’s Central Park. During these hours, the inner circle of CP will be fully pedestrianised, he said.

Addressing a press conference, the CM said the “community Diwali” will have special lighting effects on all buildings of CP with storyboarding, cultural performances, and food and local handicraft shopping stalls. The government said the central idea of the laser show is storytelling through light works and music.

“This year onwards we are starting a new trend of organising community Diwali in Delhi. We hope with our plan, people will give up bursting crackers and enjoy the laser show. No passes or tickets are needed,” Kejriwal said.

He said that, depending on its success, the “community Diwali” will be planned at multiple locations next year onwards.

Pedestrianisation

CM Kejriwal said that during the show time, restrictions will be imposed only on private transport. Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said that battery operated rickshaws are being arranged to bring people from nearby parking lots to the main venue at the Central Park.

On objections raised by the traders of CP on pedestrianising the inner circle during this period, Kejriwal said, “There are no restrictions levied on traders and businessmen. Contrary to their claims that their business will suffer, I guarantee that their business will double. They should instead thank us.”

Sisodia said special parking arrangements are being made near Shivaji stadium and that other areas are also being identified. “We are also planning to provide free transit for the visitors,” he said.

Senior officials working on the project said the initial plan was to only partially pedestrianise the inner circle. “But, the chief minister and deputy chief minister insisted that all of inner circle be made vehicle-free. It is a very good idea as they reasoned if vehicles are even partially allowed then the noise of honking and usual congestion would spoil the entire show,” said a senior official.

On Tuesday, all stakeholders including the traffic police and the New Delhi Municipal Council will chalk out the final plan.

The New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) said the Delhi government’s plan was an “impractical” one. “We know it from past experiences that the outer circle will be jammed and our dedicated customers, who travel by cars, will completely avoid CP. Those who will come, will do so only for fun, and there will be no shoppers,” said Atul Bhargava, President, NDTA.