Saturday, July 24, 2010

Visit CP only if you excess time in hand

If you are planning to visit Connaught Place anytime soon, make sure you have time on your hand. Driving from Outer Circle to Inner Circle in peak hours may take a good 30 minutes, according to traders.

The ongoing construction work in the area has made CP a commuter’s nightmare. With parking lots being constructed outside all 14 blocks, motorists have started parking their cars on the road along Inner Circle. The road has further shrunk due to footpath work being carried out around Central Park. Interestingly, the footpath was restored only four years ago by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) but NDMC is working on it again to ‘‘bring uniformity in the area’’.

Questioning the NDMC for redoing the footpath, New Delhi Traders Association (NDTA) president Atul Bharghav said: ‘‘There was no need to re-lay the footpath outside Central Park again. DMRC had restored it after completing work at CP station. The footpath seemed to be in good condition. This additional work has just led to further slowing of traffic in the area.’’

Confirms Rakesh Sharma, who works in CP. ‘‘It took me 20 minutes to enter Inner Circle from Outer Circle in the afternoon and another 10 minutes to find a parking spot. It is a task driving to CP everyday. I dread it. I sometimes have to pay extra to ensure that my car is parked in the parking lot,’’ he said.

While traffic cops act against illegal parking in CP, they too claim there is little else they can do about the situation with hardly any authorised parking space available. Admitting there’s a problem, NDMC spokesperson Anand Tiwari said: ‘‘It’s temporary and will be resolved as soon as the parking lots are ready. Certain parking lots in Inner Circle will be ready by next week.’’

And NDMC’s attempt to create green belts in parking lots outside the blocks has also led to reduced parking space in the area, claim traders.
Bharghav said: ‘‘CP is a commercial hub and more parking should be created here. But NDMC is doing just the opposite by creating green belts, which will take up space.’’ Traders estimate that CP requires space for 9,000 cars at any point of time.

According to Bharghav, NDMC had earlier floated plans for reducing parking in CP and now it’s unwilling to come clear on this matter now. He said: ‘‘The NDMC had earlier proposed doing away with parking in the Middle Circle and reducing parking along the Outer Circle. We have asked NDMC for clarification on this matter several times but they have not given us any reply till date.’’ Meanwhile, NDMC has refuted these claims made by NDTA.