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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Up next at Chandni Chowk: Buildings and arterial roads to get a facelift

The Public Works Department (PWD) has been asked to come up with a proposal and an estimate for the facade restoration.

Written by Ashna Butani | New Delhi | Updated: January 10, 2021 3:16:46 am
Up next at Chandni Chowk: Buildings and arterial roads to get a faceliftWork on the 1.3-km stretch is nearing completion. (Express photo by Tashi Tobgyal)

As the redevelopment of a 1.3-km stretch in Chandni Chowk nears completion, the second phase of the project is being planned — which includes restoring the facades of buildings in the heritage corridor and redeveloping certain arterial roads.

The idea is to ensure that buildings and nearby roads match the aesthetic of the main stretch. An official involved in the planning of the second phase said, “Since the entire stretch is being pedestrianised, there were demands to improve the street, which includes the buildings. Hence we decided that phase two would include facade restoration of buildings on the street.”

The Public Works Department (PWD) has been asked to come up with a proposal and an estimate for the facade restoration. An official from the PWD said, “We are awaiting more clarity on this. However, it is clear that facade restoration will be completed keeping the Mughal aesthetic in mind. The goal is to ensure there is uniformity in design, be it on the roads or of the buildings.”

Another project is the restoration of six arterial roads including Nai Sarak, Ballimaran Road, Gai Qasim Jaan, Rodgran, Farash Khana and Lal Kuan. Overhead wires will be taken underground and the area will be beautified on the lines of the main stretch.

Earlier, an estimate of Rs 42.5 crore to restore the six arterial roads was sent to the government for approval.

However, since the estimate was on the higher side, the department was asked to revisit the proposal and draft a new one.

The official said, “We will hire a consulting agency to prepare the estimates for the facades as well as to revisit the arterial roads plan.” Once the estimates are made and approved by the government, work on the projects will begin.

Along with these two proposals, a few others were highlighted by the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) during a board meeting held on December 29 last year.

A proposal for redesigning Netaji Subhash Marg as a heritage road was made by the board. Further, it was decided that a draft legislative bill that recognises SRDC as ‘Special Area Local Planning and Development Authority for Wall City’ would be submitted to the government.

In 2019, work on the main project had been stalled due to a construction ban over Delhi’s poor air quality. Last year, it was delayed by three months due to the Covid lockdown and the labour shortage that ensued.

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