Every inch of it is supposed to be a footpath. A place where one can saunter on leisurely without fear of traffic hassles. But the only such pedestrian zone in the city is turning out to be a pipe dream.
Nearly 15 years down the line, the Charminar Pedestrianisation Project (CPP) is nowhere near completion. Of course, it is taking shape in bits and pieces, with the result that the impact is not at all felt.
Life around the monument is chaotic as ever. Pedestrians still have to fight for space with cars, autorickshaws and two-wheelers. Incidentally, the area around Charminar is the busiest shopping hub in Old City. “It would have been such a relief if this area had been made totally traffic-free by now,” says a Ramzan shopper.
The GHMC has spent Rs. 100 crore till date on CPP-related civil work, but no road near the monument has been fully pedestrianised. The stretch from Gulzar Houz to Charminar has granite flooring only on one side. The other side could not be paved thanks to litigation. The authorities experimented with one-way traffic on the Charminar-Gulzar Houz stretch but gave it up later. Bollards erected on the stretch proved effective in providing relief to pedestrians, but they were removed to allow for Ganesh immersion processions.
Grey and pink colour granite flooring on Sardar Mahal Road was done recently for a length of 125 metres. But the road margins are yet to be paved. So is the stretch from Sardar Mahal to Lodhi Khan Road. “Now, because of Ramzan rush we can’t pave this road,” says K. Srinivas Rao, who handles CPP in the GHMC.
Granite pavements in Laad Bazar and from Charminar to Makkah Masjid also remain to be done. However, total pedestrianisiation is not possible unless traffic is diverted through the 2.5-km inner ring road. But here again some 15 properties on Panjeshah Road and two on the Mitti-ka-Sher side are stumbling blocks to smooth traffic.
“It would have been such a relief if this area (Charminar) had been made totally traffic-free by now.”
A Ramzan shopper
Almost 15 years down the line, the Charminar Pedestrianisation Project is nowhere near completion. Though it is taking shape in bits and pieces, the impact is not felt at all