New look for a grand old mall

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Ready for a makeover: The much-neglected Shankar Market will be re-developed in line with the ‘old CP look’ ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
Ready for a makeover: The much-neglected Shankar Market will be re-developed in line with the ‘old CP look’ ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

Manisha Jha

Shankar Market near Connaught Place to get a facelift

NEW DELHI: Well over a half-century after it was built, the Capital’s much- neglected Shankar Market along the Outer Circle of Connaught Place is all set to don a new, improved look ahead of the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

The New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), which would be undertaking the project in partnership with market traders, has prepared a primary estimate of the project and has got the go-ahead from its members to take the plan to the next stage.

According to the NDMC, the existing market would be re-developed in line with the “old CP look” that is being restored to the bustling horse-shoe shaped commercial centre in the heart of the Capital and the markets surrounding it.

Comprising 10 shops on the ground floor and 53 stalls and 53 commercial flats on the upper floor, the market famous for its variety in women’s clothing fabrics and materials was taken over by the NDMC from the Land and Development Office in 2006.The market includes both licensee as well as leasehold shopkeepers.

The re-development project, which would include façade improvement, flooring, revamped lighting, uniform signboards, reorganising existing parking and replacement of outer railing, would be implemented by the civic body and the Shankar Market Traders’ Association on a partnership basis. The NDMC would take up re-development and beautification work for parts of the market visible from the exterior and leave the rest to be undertaken by the traders at their own cost on the basis of drawing designs provided to them by the civic body.

Shankar Market Traders’ Association vice-president Ramesh Handa says: “The main problem in our market is lack of adequate street-lighting as most lights have become outdated and non-operational. The new look of the market with modern new streetlights promised by the NDMC will help illuminate the place and help the market keep pace with the times by attracting newer custom that had dwindled following closure of the adjacent Super Bazar.”

A unique feature of the project would be revamping of neglected open spaces within the market which would be turned into leisure zones with fancy streetlights, flooring and designer benches to attract more customers.

An NDMC official said: “Not many people know that the crowded Shankar Market actually has seven courtyards in its fold which have been lying neglected due to misuse or encroachment. So as part of the re-development plan we would be taking up these neglected spaces, demolishing all defunct fountains located there and re-developing these courtyards by replacing their existing flooring.”

“A single signboard with the name of the market and list of shops would be displayed on the frontal side of each of the market’s eight blocks in addition to uniform signboards which the shopkeepers would be putting up at their own cost on top of the shops,” he added.

Apart from civil works, the project also entails a complete re-alignment of the market’s periphery roads and construction of a modern public toilet on a build-operate-transfer basis to replace the defunct bathrooms located at the back of the market.

The entire project, estimated to cost around Rs.2.5 crore, is expected to start within three months. If all goes well, the revamped Shankar Market should be ready in about eight months, well in time for the Commonwealth Games, say NDMC officials.




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