The middle and inner circle roads of Delhi’s Connaught Place will be made vehicle-free for three months, as part of a pilot smart city project starting from February, news agency PTI reported on Thursday. Traffic will be barred on these roads as part of “pedestrianisation” of the area, news channel NDTV reported. Union Minister for Urban planning and development, Venkaiah Naidu discussed the feasibility of “developing water bodies, side walk cafes, public plazas, holding light and sound shows and street festivals”, the report adds. He reportedly said that the ban on vehicles is meant to offer a “congestion free, accident free and crime free” experience to those visiting the area.
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The decision was taken during a meet attended by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and the Delhi Police which was chaired by Union Minister of Urban Development M. Venkaiah Naidu. During the meet it was decided to introduce ‘pedestrianisation’ of Connaught Place on a pilot basis for ground level testing of issues related to changes in traffic circulation, experience of pedestrians and shop owners, management of reclaimed parking lots, traffic load on outer circle etc.
NDMC and Delhi Police officials have stated that ‘pedestrianisation’ could be promoted by declaring the middle and inner circular roads of Connaught Place vehicle free by providing effective ‘park and ride’ services from major parking areas at Shivaji Stadium, Baba Kharak Singh Marg Palika parking. Total parking capacity at these three locations is 3,172 and on an average only 1,088 vehicles are being parked. This unutilized capacity could be fully used by promoting ‘park and ride’ concept, they said.
Cycle hiring, battery operated vehicles etc., would be deployed effectively for the benefit of those parking vehicles at specified slots to reach the business district and also for the benefit of those using public transport besides senior citizens, women, children etc to move in the business district.
Further to restriction of vehicles, in the space available, landscaping, development of water bodies to act as humidifier in the walking zone, light and sound shows, side walk cafes, public plazas, organizing street festivals etc were discussed. Naidu stressed that congestion free, accident free and crime free experience of visitors shall be the objective of pedestrianisation.
During the smart city review, NDMC Chairman Naresh Kumar informed that work on various major components of the smart city plan is progressing as planned. He informed that work on strengthening of smart energy grid network would begin next month and work on automatic metering with automatic demand response work and Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) in March this year. Administrative approval for rehabilitation of water supply networks under smart water management, smart automatic meters and water quality sensors is likely to be accorded at the Council’s meeting next week.
Regarding 11 decentralized Sewage Treatment Plans as envisaged in smart city plan of NDMC amounting to a total of 3.10 million litre per day, three plants would be completed by the end of this month and the remaining by June this year. Erection of smart poles with CCTV cameras and connected to central command and control centres would be completed by July this year. Four bids have been received for Smart Parking services and are under examination. Another five bids have been received for LED street lighting on 350 poles in first phase in Kaka Nagar and Chandra Gupta Road area and are being examined. A Memorandum of Understanding is being finalized with telephone service provided MTNL for introducing Wi-Fi services in the NDMC area.
With ANI inputs