All About Chandni Chowk Redevelopment Project
After hitting multiple roadblocks, the Delhi government’s Chandni Chowk Redevelopment Project is all set to take off as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has laid the foundation stone on December 7. The idea is to create India's first all-pedestrian street market by March 2020 and revamp the old heritage character of the area.
Known to the world as a shopping centre with a historical background, Chandni Chowk has been in headlines in the recent past owing to illegal constructions, encroachment and traffic congestion. Despite the several attempts made to salvage the situation, little change is visible.
According to the Delhi government website, the aim of the Chandni Chowk Redevelopment Plan is to “take remedial measures to decongest the current mixed traffic congestion and other related issues in a way that the solutions are both economically feasible and technologically viable in terms of power consumption, environment-friendliness, etc”.
The project aims to make the iconic Chandni Chowk market pedestrian-friendly. This will promote easy walkthrough for shoppers, providing the much-needed visibility to stores.
In order to decongest roads, plans are afoot to barricade roads. The visitors or even business owners will have to park their vehicles in the parking lot and take the e-bus to their destination; this will reduce traffic congestion. Initially, the project was to be completed before the Commonwealth Games of 2010.
The project is to be implemented in two phases. In Phase-I, underground electric wiring would be spread in Main Road Chandni Chowk (Lal Jain Mandir to Fatehpuri Masjid), Khari Baoli, Naya Bazar, Church Mission road, H C Sen Road, Esplanade Road, Nai Sarak, Dariba Kalan, Jama Masjid, Urdu Bazar and Matia Mahal. Open wires act as a key cause of accidents in these narrow lanes. In Phase-II, streets would be repaired and made pedestrian friendly while highlighting the heritage of this Mughal-era locality. This phase will cover the stretch at Chandni Chowk from Lal Jain Mandir to Fatehpuri Masjid.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), BSES Yamuna Power Ltd, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), the Delhi Fire Service (DFS), Mahanagar Telecommunication Ltd (MTNL), Indraprastha Gas Ltd (IGL) are among the many agencies that would take part in the redevelopment process.
How will the plan make a difference?
Chandni Chowk is losing its old-world charm to the menace of congestion and encroachment. The redevelopment project will help it retain some of its past beauty. The businesses here will flourish, as more and more shoppers who avoid this area due to congestion will be willing to shop here.
Through this project, the government can protect and preserve some of the walled city’s historical monuments and heritage sites of importance to both India’s culture and tourism.
With inputs from Surbhi Gupta