Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta Tuesday visited Karol Bagh’s Ajmal Khan Road, declared a vehicle-free zone not too long ago, and declared that movement of vehicles will soon be allowed here. Gupta also cut a ribbon to formally declare the area as motorised. Traders in the area said the barricades were removed and vehicular movement was allowed after Gupta left. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation, however, is yet to give a formal approval to allow vehicular movement in the area.
In May last year, the North civic body had pedestrianised a stretch of nearly 1.5 km from Pusa Road to D B Gupta Marg to decongest the busy Karol Bagh market area. The plan allowed only pedestrians to walk through the central stretch along the non-motorised vehicle (NMV) zone.
For decades, Ajmal Khan Road has remained clogged with traffic and haphazard parking, causing inconvenience to visitors.
The Indian Express had reported that the Karol Bagh Traders’ Association had written to the North MCD, stating that footfall, which took a hit amid the Covid-19 pandemic, has worsened on account of the area being made a vehicle-free zone.
Traders said shoppers were staying away as they feared exposure and contact with other people, and did not want to walk the extra distance between their cars and the shops.
Delhi BJP chief Gupta told The Indian Express said. “The party has accepted the traders’ demands and has asked the North civic body to start the process of declaring the area as motorised till Covid crisis persists.” The BJP is in power in the North civic body.
North MCD Deputy Commissioner of the Karol Bagh zone, Ira Singhal, said, “The file concerning the demand of the traders to allow vehicular movement in the market is being processed. Final permission is yet to be granted.”
North MCD Mayor Jai Prakash said, “The civic body has temporarily allowed the movement of vehicles and final approval will be given soon, as the traders’ business in the area is severely affected.”
Deepak Malchandani, a trader in the area said the movement of vehicles has now been allowed, but parking is still restricted. Rajesh Mehra, president of the Karol Bagh Traders’ Association, said, “The movement of traffic is now allowed on the road. Gupta ji has promised that he would ensure a parking space is opened here soon.”
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