The Delhi Government on Monday unveiled a major redevelopment project for Chandni Chowk under which works like street improvement, creation of pedestrian-friendly environment, taking of all the services underground and creation of a heritage environment would be undertaken.
As per the plan of action, decided at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and attended among others by Chandni Chowk MP and Union Minister Kapil Sibal, a large part of the work would be undertaken by the Public Works Department over the next one year.
Ms. Dikshit said the project would bring a positive change in the erstwhile Shahajahanbad area by taking up planned redevelopment. She said a “Coordination Group” has been constituted to overcome any obstacles in the project and all agencies have been told to work in tandem to ensure completion within the stipulated timeframe.
The project has been divided into two phases. In the first phase, all the services would be taken underground. All the utilities would now be shifted two feet underneath the surface. The meeting was told that all the Delhi Jal Board lines have already been laid underground.
The power companies, including the distribution companies, the MTNL and IGL, have also been directed to get their lines underground in consultation with the Public Works Department and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. The Corporation has also been told to provide its expertise in taking the lines underground without disturbing the flow of traffic in the area.
Under Phase II, the actual redevelopment and restoration work in Chandni Chowk would be taken up.
Mr. Sibal said as multiplicity of authority was a hurdle in redevelopment work, it has been decided to again take back roads of over 60 feet width from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and hand them to the PWD to enable it to take up the actual work.
The Union Minister also expressed his displeasure at power cables hanging in the air and “eclipsing the heritage” of the Walled City, including the Chandni Chowk stretch from Jain Lal Mandir to Fatehpuri Masjid. He called for improving the heritage value of the area.