July 22, 2009 12:51:19 am
Buoyed by the success of a pilot project,the Municipal Corporation of Delhi is about to embark on a high-profile project to change the face of Paharganj.
This comes after the area,with a high concentration of guesthouses,was identified by the Union Tourism Ministry as crucial for providing budget stays for foreign tourists during the Commonwealth Games.
The Tourism Secretary had visited the site and the Ministry has identified 528 guesthouses for tourist accommodation near the New Delhi Railway Station. The MCD will construct parking spaces for motorised as well as non-motorised vehicles,transfer all overhead wires into underground ducts,improve the condition of roads and construct cabins for traffic wardens, Mayor Kanwar Sain said.
However,if the Ministry of Surface Transport does not show its generosity soon enough,the MCD will have to go ahead with its contribution of a mere Rs 3 crore for the Rs 30-crore project. Mayor Kanwar Sain,however,denied that funds were a problem. The Ministry has promised that funds will not be a problem and they are expected to come in soon. We have already completed a pilot project successfully and are raring to go, he said.
The funds will be available in a week or so and we are waiting with Rs 3 crore. Tenders will be called once the funds are allotted and we expect to complete the project by July 2010, Ravi Dass,Chief Engineer of the MCD,said.
When the MCD is done with the Paharganj area,it will have stylised the streetlights,assigned dedicated safai karamcharis,and put in place decorative wood benches,information kiosks and a rainwater harvesting system under the streets,to name a few additions.
A 67-page document titled Streetscaping of Delhi Roads for Commonwealth Games 2010 was prepared by a private agency for the MCD last month. The objective is to create streets that are efficiently planned. The aim is also to develop green streets that are safe for vehicles as well as pedestrians. The street design need to be inclusive of pedestrians,hawkers,cyclists,moving and parked vehicles,space for drainage,utilities,streetlighting,trees,public amenities and bus stops, it states.
Meanwhile,MCD officials said a pilot streetscaping project has begun on Lodhi Road but its status is unknown as of now.
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