Monthly deadlines for Chandni Chowk work

Pedestrianisation of stretch to be completed by end of May

Monthly deadlines have been set to ensure speedy completion of the Chandni Chowk redevelopment project, which has suffered several delays due to the COVID-induced lockdown and curbs, said Delhi government sources.

The first phase of the project, related to the redevelopment and pedestrianisation of the 1.3 km stretch between Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid, is expected to be completed by May 31, said sources. Once completed, it will pave the way for a futuristic solution to one of the area’s historical problems: last-mile connectivity.

Free connectivity

The authorities are exploring the possibility of deploying golf carts and trambuses to provide free connectivity on the stretch.

“The main corridor is almost complete except for installation of streetlights and CCTV cameras. We expect this to be accomplished by the end of April,” said a government official.

“Traffic diversions have been put in place at the Red Fort junction. Work on this junction as well as near the Fatehpuri Masjid is expected to be done by the end of April as well. The Transport department has been asked to explore the provision of e-vehicles for last-mile connectivity for the elderly and infirm,” the official said.

Another official associated with the project said work related to phase II of the project, which includes façade restoration, will see the appointment of a consultant by the end of April.

Meanwhile, a significant portion of overhead electric cables have been removed from the stretch, and multiple pick-up and drop sites for goods, which was a demand of local businesses, have also been demarcated.

The stretch between Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid is being turned into a vehicle-free zone – between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. – though non-motorised vehicles will be allowed. There will be tree-lined footpaths on either side and a wide central verge. There will also be seating space for visitors.

Most of the work is being done in red sandstone, keeping the Mughal-era architectural style in mind.

Undertaken at a cost of ₹90 crore and part of a larger redevelopment plan for the Walled City of Shahjahanabad, the project was scheduled to be completed by March-end last year.

Government sources said this was mainly due to issues over procurement of construction material as well as components to be installed as part of the initiative from neighbouring States such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

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