NDMC bid to encourage public to use them and make them safer

Subways in Connaught Place are due for a facelift. The New Delhi Municipal Council has drawn up a proposal to rent out spaces to public and private bodies to set up shops and counters in some of them. The one on Baba Kharak Singh Marg will be the first to be developed with the NDMC planning to involve the Handicraft Bhawan right across the road.

“The NDMC proposes to write to the Handicrafts Commissioner asking if it would be interested in developing the subway and the amphi-theatre near Hanuman Mandir into a mini-haat with a handful of shops selling handicraft products,” said a senior official.

If the proposal is accepted, artisans would be allowed to use the space but not construct any structures or block the passage to the subway. It will be a 50 per cent revenue sharing model with the NDMC, added the official.

Similarly, the TJ’s chain (a Tihar Jail initiative) will be approached to open kiosks in another subway in the area that is yet to be identified. “These subways will not be used for advertising and no signages will block the entry or exit points. The idea is to encourage the public to use the subways and make it more accessible and safer,” said the official. However, the Council will not take a share of the revenue from the TJ’s chains.

The proposal for renting out spaces was put forth after officials expressed their inability to remove beggars and drug addicts from subways on CP’s Outer Circle. “If these proposals are finalised then the subways will be out of bounds for drug addicts and will be maintained well instead of being used as urinals,” said the official. The subways will remain under lock and key at night.

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