After facing opposition from traders over declaring Connaught Place a car-free zone, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has decided that it will first improve last-mile connectivity before enforcing the plan. For this, the council has decided to purchase nine buses and build an electric bike station.
A senior NDMC official said, “We will purchase nine electric buses in the first stage. These will be used to only drop people from nearby locations to CP.” The stops will be around a 4-km radius from CP.
“We have a multi-level parking with capacity for 1,408 cars at Baba Kharak Singh Marg. Parking facilities are also available at Palika Bazaar and Shivaji Stadium. More parking areas will be developed in adjoining areas, so that people can park their cars there,” he said.
Last year, the NDMC’s plan to make Connaught Place car-free was put off due to lack of unanimity among stakeholders over execution of the plan. Most traders were apprehensive that it would hamper their business.
“When we discussed the issue with traders, most of them said their businesses were being affected due to last-mile connectivity issues. So, the council has decided to resolve it first.”
Officials said the NDMC is hopeful that it will be able to declare the area car-free in six months. The plan proposes that cars will be allowed in the Middle Circle but only to drop visitors. No parking will be allowed.
The council said it will also introduce a bicycle sharing scheme, with 50 stations, and link important Metro stations, office complexes, markets and tourist places through cycle track routes. The agency is also working on a plan to divert traffic from the outer and inner circles after the “car free” plan is executed.
“For vehicles that use the Outer Circle to reach other destinations, we are working on a traffic plan to divert them through other roads,” he said.