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Delhi’s Chandni Chowk Road set to be pedestrian-only from 9am to 9pm

The unified traffic and transportation infrastructure (planning & engineering) centre (UTTIPEC) has cleared a proposal to reserve the 1.5km stretch, starting from Red Fort to Fatehpuri mosque, for pedestrians and non-motorised vehicles.

delhi Updated: Aug 25, 2018 09:15 IST
Parvez Sultan
Parvez Sultan
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Chandni Chowk Road,pedestrian-only
No vehicular traffic will be permitted on the road for 12 hours — 9am to 9pm. Only non-motorised transport (NMVs) such as cycle rickshaws will be allowed to ply in a dedicated corridor, a senior Delhi government official, who attended the meeting, said. (HT File Photo)

Chandni Chowk road is likely to become the first pedestrian-only road in the national capital.

The unified traffic and transportation infrastructure (planning & engineering) centre (UTTIPEC) has cleared a proposal to reserve the 1.5km stretch, starting from Red Fort to Fatehpuri mosque, for pedestrians and non-motorised vehicles.

The plan was given a preliminary consent in a meeting that took place on August 20.

No vehicular traffic will be permitted on the road for 12 hours — 9am to 9pm. Only non-motorised transport (NMVs) such as cycle rickshaws will be allowed to ply in a dedicated corridor, a senior Delhi government official, who attended the meeting, said.

The official said the final approval will be accorded to the proposal in UTTIPEC’s governing body meeting, which is likely to take place on Monday in the presence of the lieutenant-governor (L-G) Anil Baijal.

It is mandatory to get the approval of UTTIPEC for all infrastructure projects in the city.

“The panel picked a suitable option, according to which, 5.5-metre wide carriageway is proposed on both sides with a central verge of two metres,” the official said.

He said according to the new plan, approved on August 20, a footpath, with a width ranging from 6.5 metres to 13.5 metres, will be constructed on the sides of both carriageways.

The redevelopment of the Chandni Chowk was first proposed in 2002. Earlier, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) proposed to declare Connaught Place a pedestrian-only zone, but the project could not take off owing to the opposition from several quarters, including traders.

Another official privy to the development said a few stakeholders and traders of Chandni Chowk are not happy with the fresh plan approved by the body on August 20.

“According to the present plan, all public facilities and power transformers will be placed on the footpath. There will be no cap on the number of cycle rickshaws allowed to ply on the road. They are of the view that this plan will lead to more chaos and that the proposal prepared in 2011, by the previous consultant, was more apt. That plan also had the stamp of the Delhi Urban Art Commission,a member of the working group of UTTIPEC said.

The previous consultant had left the project midway, forcing the authorities to hire a new one and prepare a fresh plan. The official said traders had also conveyed their unhappiness to the L-G.

Sanjay Bhargava, president of Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal, said the present plan is not acceptable as it has reduced the size of footpaths and increased the width of non-motorised vehicle lanes.

“This unwanted change has been done without any survey or understanding of the needs of the area. The previous plan had addressed all our concerns,” Bhargava said.

Chandni Chowk MLA Alka Lamba, who is one of the directors of Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC), said the time has come to execute the plan as the situation on the ground is worsening.

“In violation of National Green Tribunal and court orders, loading and unloading of goods are done during the daytime. Illegal parking is another major issue. So the priority is that things should start moving on the ground. We will get all disgruntled groups on board soon,” she said.

First Published: Aug 25, 2018 02:52 IST