Enjoy nature and relax at Delhi’s ‘happiness areas’
The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) will soon have five “happiness areas” intended for citizens to unwind.
Such areas will be large green spaces with trellis, pergola, lily pond and a variety of flowers. The areas have been developed at Windsor Place, Kautilya Park, Jalebi Chowk near North Block, Yashwant Place and Nyaya Marg.
While the Yashwant Place and Nyaya Marg areas were developed last year, the rest, which were to be inaugurated on Wednesday by Union home minister Rajnath Singh but were put off after reports of Pakistan violating Indian airspace, will be inaugurated sometime in the next week.
NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar said, “Open spaces are shrinking in Delhi so we have come up with this initiative which will be a treat to the eyes. We want people to visit such places and enjoy the beauty of nature instead of going to malls. This will help people in reducing their mental stress and also reduce pollution in the city.”
Kumar said that besides happiness areas, the NDMC has also installed environment sensors at 18 poles and data collected from such locations would be shared on the “NDMC 311” application. This would help the citizens in getting precise updates about air pollution.
According to Council officials, social gatherings could be held in the coming days to attract more people to these area. The project is a part of the Centre’s smart city initiative. The areas inaugurated last year have got a good response, they said, adding that more such areas may be developed in the coming months
At Kautilya Marg, the “happiness” area has been developed over a 1.2 acres at a cost of ₹66 lakh. Similarly, a 90-feet high water fountain has been built at Windsor Place near Le Méridien Hotel. At Jalebi Chowk near North Block towards Rakabganj Gurudwara, the happiness space has been developed over 1.4 acres land where officials have installed a water jet fountain.
“We have also improved landscaping of these areas with the help of flowering plants, walking tracks, vertical gardens, up lighters for trees, fountains,” the official said. Padmavati Dwivedi, an activist, said, “Well laid out and maintained green spaces with water bodies are definitely a welcome measure. Hope more local species of flora are added in the planning scheme in future at such prestigious places.”