Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Heart of City CP, Feels the wrath due to heavy construction work

As Connaught Place gets a makeover before the Commonwealth Games, the marketplace in the heart of the city has become a nightmare for shoppers and office-goers.

Several parking lots have been dug up for restoration work or construction of subways due to which cars are parked on the main road. This is slowing down the movement of traffic. The Middle Circle is also out of bounds, forcing all vehicles on to Inner Circle and Outer Circle.

‘‘There is no place to park so I asked my driver to wait on the road while I paid my phone bill’’ said Neena Khurana, a Gole Market resident.

New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has taken up two parking lots in Inner Circle for creation of parking bays. After leveling the road, the civic agency plans to create dedicated parking bays with markings for vehicles in each of the lots. The remaining parking lots will also be taken up in a phased manner. Even in Outer Circle where construction and renovation of subways are underway, a portion of the parking lot has been taken over to dump construction material. With subways out of bounds, thousands of pedestrians are having a tough time crossing the main road in Outer Circle. ‘‘We form groups and then stop cars before crossing the road,’’ said Ramesh Gupta, who works in CP. To compound matters, several traffic signals are not working. The traffic police said about five signals had been switched off in Outer Circle as the movement of vehicles was faster without them. One traffic signal is not working due to construction work. ‘‘Manual regulation is working out better. Hence, signals have been switched off at some places,’’ said a senior official.

The mess is not just limited to dug-up roads. The corridors and bylanes are filled with construction material. ‘‘I tried walking through the corridors from E-block to M-block and had concrete and cement falling on my head. The facades of buildings are being broken and there are no safety nets to prevent injury to people below,’’ said Pritam Kaur, a shopper.

The situation is not likely to improve any time soon. ‘‘Work on parking lots and facades in Inner Circle will be completed by June, the ducting in Middle Circle will end by August and Outer Circle will be restored after work on the subways ends in September. We’ve deployed marshals to minimize inconvenience,’’ said Anand Tiwari, NDMC spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Delhiites are resigned to their fate. ‘‘Nothing can be done now. We wonder if the subways will be completed by September,’’ said Atul Bhargava, New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) president.

CP development plan includes

Construction of four subways in Outer Circle Service ducting in Middle Circle to shift cables and pipelines underground Restoration work at 16 blocks Construction of parking bays in Inner Circle with setbacks and planters Streetscaping, central verges are also being done up


Parking space has shrunk by almost 50 % due to all the activity. Unauthorized parking all over CP has caused road space to shrink With subways dug up, pedestrians have trouble crossing roads Non-functioning signals are adding to the confusion Construction material in corridors has left no space for pedestrians


Traders - Sales have gone down by more than 50%
Shoppers & office goers - There is no place to park or walk


Work on parking lots in Inner Circle - June 2010
Ducting in Middle Circle - August 2010
Subway Construction & Outer Circle restoration - September 2010