August 29, 2021 10:17:10 pm
The building that looked like Jaipur’s iconic Hawa Mahal in Chandni Chowk has been dismantled by the trader who made it, after he was told by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to take it down earlier this month.
The building, on the 1.3-km pedestrian stretch between Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid, was renovated by Rajasthan-based trader and architect Ankit Keyal. He said he removed it after the North MCD served him a notice.
A green covering covers the building at present, said Keyal, adding that he has asked the North MCD for permission on the kind of facade that could be used.
The civic body had asked the trader to take it down on grounds that it was a new construction when the trader had asked for repair permission, and said the facade is beyond the permissible limit of six inches.
The property used to house the Chand hotel, and Keyal planned to give it a heritage look and open a garments shop. He said that trained people from Rajasthan were brought to develop the facade and it took two-three months to develop it.
The 1.3-km stretch between the Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid has been turned into a car-free zone and beautified keeping the Mughal-era architectural style in mind. The mesh of overhead wires has gone underground, red sandstone seats have been placed, and at least 175 red sandstone planters, along with a row of bollards, placed to mimic the Mughal architectural aesthetic.
A trader from Chandni Chowk said the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) is expected to soon start work on restoring the façade of buildings lining the stretch. “A consultant would be appointed soon,” he said.
More than 20 heritage structures are on either side of the Chandni Chowk market with buildings like St Stephen’s Church, the State Bank of India building, and the Central Baptist Church. There are also medieval-era havelis but many are in a dilapidated state.
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