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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

L-G Baijal to visit Old Delhi, review Shahjahanabad revamp plan

The government had planned to redevelop Shahjahanabad and had set up a dedicated body to coordinate efforts. However, the plan to revamp the area, which has monuments such as the Jama Masjid, has not been implemented for over a decade

delhi Updated: Jul 13, 2017 00:06 IST
Parvez Sultan
Parvez Sultan
Hindustan Times
Encroachment is a major problem in Chandni Chowk. The government is planning to revamp the city of Shahjahanabad but the plan has been hanging fire for over a decade.
Encroachment is a major problem in Chandni Chowk. The government is planning to revamp the city of Shahjahanabad but the plan has been hanging fire for over a decade.(Sushil Kumar/HT Photo)

The ambitious plan to redevelop Shahjahanabad, which has been hanging fire for more than a decade, is expected to get the much-needed push with the L-G Anil Baijal deciding to visit the Walled City soon.

Baijal decided to visit the area after a meeting convened on Tuesday with all stakeholders including Shahjahananad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) to review the project.

“The L-G may visit the area in the next couple of days, may be on a Saturday, to examine the prevailing chaos in Chandni Chowk area and its vicinity,” said a Delhi government official privy to the development.

Senior government officials -- Delhi chief secretary MM Kutty, PWD secretary Ashwini Kumar, newly appointed Managing Director of SRDC V Abrraham and General Manager OP Mishra --- were present in the meeting. The meeting was also attended by all nodal officers of various department including North Delhi Municipal Corporation, Public Work Department (PWD), Delhi Police, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, BSES, and Delhi Jal Board (DJB).

“The SRDC’s nodal officer gave a presentation and apprised the L-G about the hurdles in the project. He was also informed about the development so far and possible funding from Asian Development Bank for the project,” said the official.

Satyendra Jain, PWD minister, who is also SRDC’s chairman did not come for the meeting.

HT has, last month, reported that Baijal had sought a status report from the SRDC on the revamp plan.

“Encroachment and illegal construction is a big issue here. The pavements have been squatted upon by unauthorised hawkers and unregistered cycle rickshaws are still plying in Chandni Chowk area regardless of the February 10 court order,” said Nadeem Qazi, a resident of Ballimaran.

Sanjay Bhargava, general secretary, Chandni Chowk Sarv Vyapar Mandal, who has been pursuing the matter with the authorities and L-G for long, said traders are hopeful that the L-G will personally monitor Shahjahanabad’s redevelopment like he oversees other issues of the city.

“The meeting ended on a positive note. The L-G is likely to issue necessary directions after his visit,” a government official said.

The plan

  • The decongestion plan of Chandni Chowk was first envisaged in 2003 and was cleared by then Delhi chief secretary S Regunathan in July 2005.
  • Three years later, the SRDC was set up as a ‘special purpose vehicle’ in 2008 to improve civic services within the Walled city.
  • The proposal for redevelopment for was cleared in 2010.
  • The project was inaugurated twice in 2011 however no significance development has been taken so far.
  • In the same year, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Delhi high court, seeking action against 147 alleged illegal properties.
  • Initially, the work was to be carried out by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Later, the Delhi government took over the project in 2014.
  • The Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) prepared a preliminary project report for assistance and finance of Rs 1,840 crore from ADB in October 2014.
  • The construction of a duct to shift utility cables underground along the northern carriage was completed in December 2014 after a long delay.
  • In February last year, the Delhi High Court appointed a nodal officer for coordination among all government agencies and stakeholders.

First Published: Jul 12, 2017 23:52 IST

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