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NDMC proposes coffee shops,bakeries for safer subways

Civic agency will bear maintenance,security expenses incurred by franchisees

Written by Pragya Kaushika | New Delhi | Published: July 22, 2013 1:35:36 am

To remove beggars and drug addicts from subways in Connaught Place,New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has proposed renting out spaces in subways to coffee shops or bakeries.

The proposal was made after Council officials expressed their inability to remove beggars and drug addicts from Outer Circle subways,especially those on Baba Kharak Singh Marg. The council is proposing to outsource these subways to coffee shops to keep anti-social elements away,a senior official said.

Officials believe that with commercial activity inside the subway,people would feel confident to use them. “Like (subways) in foreign countries,where there are open coffee shops and bakeries,we will let out space in our subways to coffee outlets. We are targeting brands like Starbucks and Costa Coffee. To achieve this,we will keep the rates of the tender very low,” the official said.

The council,in turn,will bear the maintenance and security expenses. “With our guards being unable to solve this problem,these corporates will run the subways and monitor the gates. To make their business successful,they will keep anti-social elements out of the subways and away from its entrance too,which will encourage people to use the subways. Jaywalking will reduce,” the official said.

The Council will also float tenders only for well-known brands. The official said only brands with a strong background will be given chance to open outlets.

“We need a strict corporate culture to run business in these subways. We believe that with police presence in the area,a strong corporate model will sustain the business,” the official said.

However,these brands will not be given space to open full outlets.

“They can open a counter and place a few tables and chairs,keeping in mind that it should not block the path of visitors,” the NDMC official said.

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