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Slow pace of Chandni Chowk redevelopment worries MCD panel

Eight years since the plan was tabled,the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is yet to make any progress in the ambitious Chandni Chowk Redevelopment Project.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
December 29, 2009 12:15:02 am

Eight years since the plan was tabled,the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) is yet to make any progress in the ambitious Chandni Chowk Redevelopment Project.

While the Delhi Urban Art Commission (DUAC) granted its preliminary conceptual approval to the project in October,the MCD Standing Committee is now worried that the civic body might miss the June 2010 deadline.

The Standing Committee has now decided to hold a short-notice meeting with the concerned officials on Wednesday,seeking a detailed status report on the project.

According to MCD Standing Committee Chairperson Ram Krishan Singhal,while the Corporation’s city zone officials,who are directly in-charge of the project,have hired consultants and drawn up a blueprint,they have failed to do any work so far.

“They have been hiring consultants for each and every part of the redevelopment project. While many areas in the Walled City have been dug up in the name of redevelopment,no work is visible as yet,” Singhal said.

“The year has come to an end and I am not sure how will all the work be completed in just six months,” he added. “The two most essential parts of the redevelopment project are the traffic decongestion plan and the proposal to restore all heritage structures in the Walled City,” he said.

On the other hand,the MCD city zone officials claim that while they have overcome all the initial delays,work has already begun on the Old City traffic decongestion plan. But according to the city zone officials a new problem has arisen — the former deputy commissioner,city zone,has been transferred and considering the lack of time,the work has been transferred to MCD’s project division. Thus,the city zone that had done all the preliminary work and finalised the blueprint is no longer directly involved.

The plan,initiated in 2004,emphasises on decongesting the current traffic chaos and increasing pedestrian walking space by restricting vehicular traffic. Besides,the roads in Old Delhi have to be widened,including the existing 3.5 metre lanes.

Officials of the project division said that now after the DUAC approval,the tendering process is being finalised.

“To save time,preliminary work like digging has already begun and by next month full fledged work on the traffic plan will begin,” said an official. The city zone was also supposed to carry out a door-to-door survey to identify heritage structures that need restoration. No details of the survey are available.


* Redevelopment work of Chandni Chowk Road will be carried out from Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid

* Footpath will be widened. New public transport including trams will be introduced

* Underground ducts will be created

* Information kiosks will be put up; public toilets will be created,uniform signboard,removal of the present transformers and police posts

*The civic agency will improve street lighting

* All heritage structures in the area will be restored

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