Civic agencies think out of the box
After clearing the decks for pedestrianising the posh Defence Colony market on Wednesday, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is getting its act together to launch similar projects in other congested market places in the city.
Shopping in Delhi is hardly looked upon as a pleasant exercise as shoppers have to put up with the nuisance of cars honking at them constantly. In fact, many shopping malls in neighbouring townships like Gurgaon and Noida have been attracting people only on the grounds that they can 'shop at leisure.'
Shopkeepers in Delhi have expressed fears that they would lose out if the government does not come up with some solution. While the traffic cops have been managing with stop gap measures by experimenting with traffic flow patterns around the market, civic authorities have been asked to find permanent solutions.
Pedestrianisation is an integral part of MCD's plan of creating modernised multi-level parking lots at two of the busiest market places in the city — South Extension and GK-I M-block. The two market places would undergo major landscaping — they would have sitting tiers, raised platforms, information boards, road signages, kiosks and modern streetlights.
The MCD has set up a separate corpus for financing the two multi-crore projects, which would be constructed on build operate and transfer (BOT) basis.
"The one-time misuse parking charge that was introduced last month has fetched Rs 100 crore. The money earned from parking charges would turn markets into shoppers' haven," said MCD Commissioner Rakesh Mehta.
Pedestrians have also been given importance in the Corporation's parking policy, but its implementation has been slack. "Private contractors managing the parking lots accommodate too many vehicles, even on pavements,” said a senior officer.